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NZ sharemarket flat early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 19 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket opened flat, although two companies took hits after releasing updates.

Tourism Holdings was down 11c to 77c after releasing a trading outlook update just before the market closed yesterday. In the update the company said it was expecting a first half net loss of up to $1 million.

Pike River Coal was down 10c to 108 after it issued a revised production forecast.

Despite those falls, the benchmark NZX-50 index showed little early movement. Around 10.20am it was up 0.66 points to 3263.01, having gained 6.5 points yesterday.

A trading halt was placed on shares in Charlie's Group at the request of the company, ahead of a material announcement.

Shares in PGG Wrightson were down 3c to 56c. Shortly after the market opened today the company announced the resignation of managing director Tim Miles, effective immediately.

NZ Oil & Gas was down 3c to 130, while Hallenstein Glasson gained 4c to 444, and another retailer, The Warehouse, lifted 3c to 397. Port of Tauranga gained 3c to 720, Hellaby Holdings was up 3c to 198, Fletcher Building lifted 2c to 830, and Telecom edged up 1c to 208.

In the United States, upbeat news for banks and homebuilders pushed the stock market broadly higher, extending its gains for the month.

Better-than-expected results from Citigroup Inc drove financial stocks up by more than 2 percent, halting a recent slide brought on by questions into how banks have handled foreclosures.

The National Association of Home Builders reported that its housing market index, which measures builder confidence in the sales of new, single-family homes, rose by three points in October. It was the first time that the measure had risen since June, which came shortly after the end of a federal tax rebate for first-time homebuyers.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7 percent to 11,143.69, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.7 percent to 1184.71, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.5 percent to 2480.66.

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