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NZ Sharemarket Ends Slightly Higher, Telecom Gains

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Paloma Migone of NZPA

Wellington, Oct 28 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose today while most offshore fell.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 10.309 points at 3202.78, after initially opening weaker in wake of a decline in the US market. Turnover was worth $120 million.

As the New Zealand market closed down 0.323 percent, the Australian market was down 1.45 percent, mostly due to weakness in financial stocks.

Telecom was mainly responsible for the index boost here, going up 6c to 255. It opened with a 1c slip to 248.

"If you take Telecom out of the equation, we'd probably be down a little bit, but overall it's rather quiet trading for the short week and rather directionless," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

There was no particular reason for Telecom's move, though there was reasonable volume with over 11 million shares traded, added Mr Williamson .

Among other leading stocks Contact Energy closed down 1c at 623, and Fletcher Building was 1c lower at 828.

Trustpower recorded one of the larger movements, gaining 10c to 760, while dual-listed bank Westpac dropped 50c to 3320, having been down about 5c this morning.

ANZ fell 66c to 2850, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 1c to 300, and Nuplex picked up with 2c to 241.

Mr Williamson said the rise in Nuplex shares was due to the announcement of positive earnings figures out of its Asian operations.

Auckland Airport, PGG Wrightson, SkyTV and Lyttelton Port all have annual meetings tomorrow.

SkyCity fell 1c to 342, SkyTV rose 3c to 475 and Mainfreight rose 5c to 543.

NZ Refining fell 8c to 537, and NZOG, which held its annual meeting today, rose 2c to 173.

In the United States, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell as investors booked profits following the stock market's recent run-up, while a weaker-than-expected reading on a measure of consumer confidence sparked caution about the recovery of spending.

Even so, the Dow Jones industrial average eked out a slim gain as shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron, both set to report quarterly results later this week, rose on the back of BP Plc's strong earnings.

The Dow Jones gained 0.1 percent to 9882.17, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.3 percent to 1063.41, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.2 percent to 2116.09.

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