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NZ Sharemarket Follows Offshore Markets Down, Nuplex Up

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 22 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket took a hit today, along with offshore markets, from plans to regulate United States banks but investors applauded a profit upgrade from Nuplex and the stock rose 5 percent.

The benchmark NZX-50 index was closed down 34.86 points, or 1.081 percent, at 3190.429. Turnover was worth $90.31 million. There were 21 rises and 53 falls among the 113 stocks traded.

Markets in Asia were weak on both the news of plans to regulate US banks and the idea that the Chinese market may have peaked as China moves to tighten monetary policy.

"The markets have been jittery all year," said James Lee, head of equities at First NZ Capital.

Many markets were down for the year and trading has been volatile. "Obama hasn't helped," he said.

Nuplex was a standout performer in the weak market. Its price traded as high as 330 and closed up 15c at 320 after the resin maker issued a profit upgrade after the market closed yesterday.

"They've now had three strong upgrades in the space of three months," Mr Lee said.

The company cut costs in response to a decline in demand. "Operational leverage is now starting to come through," said Mr Lee.

Otherwise, listed property trusts stabilised after being knocked by proposals from the Tax Working Group to reform tax in New Zealand. ING Property was unchanged at 76, Goodman Property rose 1c to 101 and Kiwi Income Property Trust was unchanged at 101.

Pike River Coal eased 4c to 101 after releasing a report which confirmed its first coal export shipment would be in February.

Telecom eased 3c to 241, Fletcher Building eased 18c to 797 and Contact Energy eased 16c to 600.

Westpac fell 41 to 3180 and ANZ fell 100 to 2850, reflecting weakness in financial stocks.

Mainfreight eased 10c to 555, and Freightways eased 1c to 336.

Restaurant Brands eased 1c to 176 and NZ Refining eased 12c to 390.

Port of Tauranga rose 7c to 710 and TrustPower rose 5c to 725.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances eased 3c to 61 and the healthcare stock eased 3c to 332.

Losses spread across most sharemarkets in Asia today, following an overnight retreat in the US market, AP reported.

Mr Obama said he would seek to limit the size and complexity of large financial companies so their collapse wouldn't imperil the broader financial system and economy, leading to more bailouts at taxpayers' expense.

Wall Street was yanked lower by heavy selling in bank stocks.

The Dow fell 213.27, or 2 percent, to 10,389.88, its biggest point and percentage drop since October 30. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21.56, or 1.9 percent, to 1116.48. The Nasdaq composite index fell 25.55, or 1.1 percent, to 2265.70.

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