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NZ sharemarket edges up in shadow of reporting season

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 2 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started a month in which its major listings will report financial results on a firm note after a mixed performance by Wall Street on Friday.

Telecom rose a cent to 200 on a day it put in a new pitch to partner the Government in high-speed broadband network initiatives, including confirmation it is prepared to separate its network from the rest of its business.

"This would be a significant event for our company and would radically transform the telecommunications sector in New Zealand," Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said.

The move comes after Telecom last week confirmed speculation it is selling the consumer part of its AAPT business in Australia. The Australian unit is viewed as a disastrous investment.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 9.549 points, or 0.315 percent, at 3044.172.

Property for Industry fell a cent to 113 after reporting a rise in interim profit while AMP Office Trust rose a cent to 71 ahead of its profit report tomorrow.

National Property Trust was unchanged at 54 after unit holders last week approved a plan to buy out its manager and become a company.

Tower eased 3c to 184 after saying rating company AM Best has affirmed its rating of the insurer.

Methven rose 4c to 159, NZ Refining rose 4c to 306 and SkyTV rose 6c to 489. Freightways rose 3c to 285, Restaurant Brands rose 3c to 245 and The Warehouse rose 5c to 358.

TrustPower fell 6c to 714, Port of Tauranga fell 10c to 680 and Fletcher Building fell 2c to 758.

Contact Energy was unchanged at 570 and Pike River Coal fell 2c to 97.

Sealegs rose a cent to 24 after saying it has established a fully owned subsidiary in France.

In the United States, stocks closed little changed on Friday, though Wall Street wrapped up its best month in a year after the earnings season rounded the final turn with a group of strong results that offset the impact of poor economic data.

The second GDP data disappointed investors showing the economy had slowed, but the mood changed quickly when Chicago PMI and University of Michigan consumer confidence had encouraging readings.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.22 points, or 0.01 percent, to 10,465.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.05 points, or 0 percent to 1101.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 3.01 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2245.70.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq dipped 0.7 percent.

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