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NZ Sharemarket Drift Continues, This Time Upward

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 10 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket continues to drift ahead of the holiday season but today the direction was upward.

The benchmark NZX50 index rose 4.643 points, or 0.148 percent, to 3132.284. Turnover was worth $76 million. There were 32 rises and 46 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

Telecom rose 5c to 241, helping the index along, and Fletcher Building rose 5c to 775.

Brokers have reflected for most of this month that equity market activity has been quieter earlier than in other years ahead of the holiday season.

There was activity in the currency market where the New Zealand dollar soared after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand indicated an earlier time frame for interest rate hikes next year. The two-year swap rate rose 23 basis points to 4.57 percent.

NZX rose 10c to 870 on thin volume, Methven rose 10c to 169 and SkyTV rose 2c to 472.

Goodman Fielder fell 10c to 198 on news in Australia of the sale of its edible fats business.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances fell 2c to 57, Nuplex fell 8c to 251 and Ebos fell 12c to 553.

NZ Refining fell 20c to 400. The Dominion Post reported today that Infratil's purchase of Shell assets will not be finalised until early next year.

The Warehouse fell 1c to 411 on a day in which talks with unions broke down.

Allied Farmers fell 8c to 20 and the media reported today that Hanover investors were angry at the roadshow meeting in Auckland today ahead of a vote on December 16. Allied Farmers shareholders have approved the purchase of Hanover assets.

A day after electricity market reforms were unveiled TrustPower was down 15c to 715 and Contact Energy was down 6c to 577.

The market was informed early that a bill later in the day in Parliament was designed to exempt Auckland Council from a breach of the Takeover Code. When the council is formed the two existing council shareholdings in Auckland Airport will slightly exceed the 20 percent takeover threshold in the code. Auckland Airport is critical of the process but its shares rose 3c to 186 today.

Others to gain today included Sanford up 2c to 484, Mainfreight 1c to 560, Hallenstein Glassons 9c to 310 and Hellaby 4c to 165.

The US stock market rebounded from two days of declines. Weakness in the US dollar helped and financial stocks were bolstered by Citigroup's plans to repay government money in a sign that US banks are returning to health.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51.08 points, or 0.50 percent, to 10,337.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 3.95 percent, or 0.36 percent, to 1095.89 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.74 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2183.73.

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