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NZ Sharemarket Eases On Weakness In Leading Shares

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 14 NZPA - Falls in the prices of key leading stocks dragged the New Zealand sharemarket lower today.

The benchmark NZX50 index closed down 29.187 points, or 0.933 percent, at 3098.797. Turnover was worth $73.76 million. There were 30 rises and 53 falls among the 116 stocks traded.

A 18c fall in Fletcher Building to 760 was a drag on the index as was a 10c fall in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to 324 and 5c fall in SkyCity to 327.

Brokers attributed the moves to orders in a fairly thin market.

PGG Wrightson rose 3c to 63 on the last day of trading of rights in its rights issue offer. Telecom was unchanged at 235.

"Probably the biggest news was NZOG coming up with a dry well," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

NZOG shares fell 9c to 163 after the company said its Albacore-1 well, located 70km north of New Plymouth in the northern offshore Taranaki basin, reached its total depth with only traces of hydrocarbons found. It is the first of four exploration wells in the company's summer drilling programme.

"It is only one in a programme of four so the market has probably over reacted a little bit there," Mr Williamson said.

AMP was unchanged at 783 in New Zealand after news that AMP Ltd and French insurer AXA SA have sweetened their takeover offer for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings by 16 percent to $NZ16.1 billion and given the target one week to agree to the new bid. AXA Asia Pacific said on Monday it was considering the offer, after having rejected its suitors' unsolicited proposal last month.

Allied Farmers rose 1c to 20.

Cavalier rose 10c to 255, NZ Farming Systems Uruguay rose 1c to 48 and Port of Tauranga rose 14c to 699.

Restaurant Brands rose 3c to 158, Freightways rose 6c to 317 and Goodman Property rose 2c to 106. Hallenstein Glassons rose 2c to 313 and Ebos rose 2c to 555.

Nuplex fell 1c to 252, TrustPower fell 5c to 720 and Contact fell 10c to 570. Rakon fell 2c to 113.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed up for a third straight session on Friday after several solid consumer-related reports reinforced investors' confidence in a steady recovery by the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.67 points, or 0.63 percent, at 10471.50, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 4.06 points, or 0.37 percent, at 1106.41 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 0.55 point, or 0.03 percent, at 2190.31.

Government reports showed stronger than expected November retail sales and an unexpected rise in business inventories in October, pointing to a recovery in consumer spending.

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