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NZ Sharemarket Edges Up In Early Trading

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 7 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket edged higher today with market operator NZX in the limelight with a strong earnings result.

The earnings season here kicks off in earnest next week with Fletcher Building reporting on Wednesday and Contact Energy on Friday.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 12.847 points, or 0.42 percent, at 3068.996, having shed 27.9 points yesterday. Turnover was worth $78.47 million. There were 45 rises and 41 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

NZX traded as high as 800 on light volume after reporting half-year net profit of $60.76 million, compared to $4.97m a year earlier, with the increase largely attributed to asset sales. It retreated to 761, down 10c by the close.

NZX's result could only be regarded as strong and the market was starting to recognise a lot of the things they are putting in place, said Peter Sigley, a dealer at Goldman Sachs JBWere.

Top stock Telecom gained 2c to 277, while Fletcher Building eased 3c to 732.

Air NZ rose 3c to 118 on a day in which it announced plans for a twice-weekly air service between Rotorua and Sydney.

Mr Sigley said his company had recently upgraded its recommendation on the airline to a buy based on an expectation of a bottoming out of passenger numbers and recovery in the economy.

Selected other listings likely to benefit from an upturn in the economy were strong.

SkyCity rose 13c to 339, Restaurant Brands rose 3c to 103 and Hellaby rose 3c to 120. Tourism Holdings rose 1c to 60.

Sky TV rose 1c to 466 after initially being weak.

Steel & Tube eased 6c to 320 and Cavalier eased 9c to 228.

Freightways rose 1c to 323 and investors have an eye on its result due on August 17 because it is a stock that reflects economic activity.

"We will be looking at comments on how things are trading right at the moment," said Mr Sigley.

TrustPower eased 4c to 761 and Tower eased 1c to 174.

Mainfreight rose 8c to 485 and Port of Tauranga rose 12c to 663. Goodman Property Trust rose 1c to 100 and AMP Office Trust rose 1c to 79.

In the United Stocks stocks fell as investors turned cautious a day ahead of a crucial government report on July employment, and took profits after recent strong gains.

The stock market's second day of declines came on the heels of a four-day rally that had pushed US indexes to close at their highest levels since last fall.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 0.3 percent to 9256.26, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.6 percent to 997.08, and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1 percent to 1973.16.


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