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NZ Sharemarket Gives Up Early Gains To Close Lower

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 17 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket gave up early gains to close lower on fairly light turnover.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed down 42.452 points, or 1.338 percent, at 3131.515, having opened up around 15 points.

Turnover was worth $90.22 million. There were 27 rises and 45 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

Stephen Wright at ASB Securities said there was little follow through from buyers today.

Most Asian markets fell with a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that "significant economic challenges remain" cited as a reason for caution.

Fletcher Building fell 4c to 796 and Telecom eased 4c to 156.

Infratil eased 3c to 151 after reporting a half year loss of $31.4 million, affected by asset impairment and revaluation of financial instruments.

Mr Wright said Infratil booked strong results from TrustPower and Wellington Airport.

The risers in the top 50 were few in number. Tower, which has its annual meeting next week, rose 2c to 174, Ryman rose 1c to 198, Methven rose 2c to 150 and Michael Hill rose 1c to 64.

Contact Energy fell 16c to 594, having risen yesterday by 16c.

Sanford fell 17c to 480, SkyCity fell 11c to 334, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare fell 9c to 302 and Westpac fell 91 to 3080.

AMP fell 18c to 787 after comments by it chief executive suggested it was not going to raise its bid for Axa Asia Pacific.

Auckland Airport fell 3c to 185 and Freightways fell 5c to 318. NZX fell 10c to 810. The Warehouse fell 4c to 414.

On a day the market fell PGG Wrightson rose 5c to 70.

Comvita rose 7c to 139.

US stocks rose broadly on Monday, sending indexes to fresh 13-month closing highs, after Bernanke reinforced expectations that interest rates would stay low to spur growth.

In the last hour of trading stocks briefly pared gains as Meredith Whitney, a prominent analyst, said in a CNBC television interview the stock market run-up was not supported by fundamentals.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 136.49 points, or 1.33 percent, to 10,406.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shot up 15.82 points, or 1.45 percent, to 1109.30 -- its first close above the psychologically important 1100 level for the first time since October 2008.

The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.97 points, or 1.38 percent, to 2197.85.

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