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NZ Sharemarket Flat Early

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 25 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket was flat in early trading

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 0.18 points to 3067.85, after yesterday gaining 32.7 points.

Pike River Coal was down 13c, or 11.4 percent, to 101, after reporting its first 60,000 tonne export shipment scheduled for mid-November would be delayed, and was now scheduled for the January-March quarter.

Production of premium hard coking coal from the company's new mine had been running at lower rates than envisaged due mainly to early geological complexity and machinery difficulties, Pike River said.

Michael Hill International slipped 1c to 71, after reporting a 175.6 percent rise in full year net profit to $69.5m, with the result boosted by a $52.9m deferred tax credit.

Chairman Michael Hill said New Zealand and Canada felt the impact of worsening global conditions, but the Australian retail segment was more resilient.

Vector shares gained 3c to 208, after the electricity and gas distributor reported a 16.3 percent rise in full year net profit from continuing operations to $164.9m.

Other shares gaining early included Hallenstein Glasson, up 7c to 285, Trustpower up 4c to 745, Tower up 3c to 177, and Sanford up 3c to 508.

NZ Refining Co lost 5c to 545, The Warehouse lost 5c to 405, NZX was down 4c to 761, and Contact Energy slipped 3c to 622.

In the United States, stocks ended the day barely changed as investors took a break from a four-day rally that lifted major indexes to 10-month highs.

Wall Street initially charged higher, but a sharp gain in US Treasury debt prices, which drove benchmark yields lower, triggered a sell-off in stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.03 percent to end at 9509.28, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched down 0.05 percent to 1025.57, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 percent to 2017.98.

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