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NZ sharemarket flat after rates left unchanged

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 29 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket was flat today after official interest rates in this country and in the United States were left unchanged.

The Reserve Bank left the New Zealand official cash rate at 2.5 percent, with Governor Alan Bollard saying the economy was recovering broadly as expected, with growth predicted to pick up further through 2010.

In the US the Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates low for an extended period, while pointing to signs of strength in the US economy, comments that gave some relief to investors worried about possible debt defaults in Europe.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 1.71 points, or 0.052 percent, at 3282.271. Turnover was worth $94.4 million. There were 43 rises and 43 falls among the 117 stocks traded.

The New Zealand market outperformed the Australian market where investors were disappointed by ANZ's interim dividend payment.

Telecom eased a cent to 219 on a day media speculated that its troubled XT brand will soon get a new look. Contact Energy rose 2c to 625 and Fletcher Building rose 1c to 835.

Shares in NZ Oil and Gas slipped 1c to 154, with the company today reporting operating revenue of $30.2 million for the March quarter, with revenue for the first time from the Kupe oil and gas field, which contributed $13.2m.

NZ Refining rose 6c to 369, Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 63 and Infratil rose 2c to 172.

TrustPower rose 5c to 745 and Nuplex rose 1c to 338. Ebos rose 4c to 649. Cavalier rose 2c to 280. Pike River Coal rose 1c to 115.

Steel & Tube fell 8c to 261, ING Property fell 1c to 75, AMP Office Trust fell 1c to 75 and Kiwi Income Property Trust fell 1c to 99.

SkyTV fell 4c to 496 and Hellaby fell 2c to 168.

Lyttelton Port rose 15c to 245 after saying its council owner approved in principle of plans to merge commercial operations with Port of Otago as talks continue.

OceanaGold fell 12c to 340.

The Fed's comments in the US lifted bank shares, while investors also scooped up shares beaten-down in the previous day's selloff after debt downgrades for Greece and Portugal.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.5 percent to 11,045.27, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.7 percent to 1191.36, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.01 percent to 2471.73.

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