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NZ Sharemarket Gives Up Ghost In Afternoon

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 2 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started the morning positively but gave it all away in the afternoon to end up slightly down for the day.

The benchmark NZX-50 index opened at 3150.968 and immediately soared close to 3170 for about three hours, but all those gains soon evaporated.

At the close of trading it was down 3.6 points, or 0.114 percent, to 3147.366.

Turnover of 24.7 million shares was worth $50.5 million.

Telecom, which announced its $5m compensation package for users affected by its XT network outage last week, saw its share price drop shortly after the announcement at 2pm.

It had reached a day's high of 240, but slid in the afternoon to close out at 235, overall down 2c for the day.

It was better news for Auckland International Airport, which had its trading halt lifted today after successfully raising $126.4 million from institutional investors to reduce debt incurred after buying a $167m quarter stake in two Queensland airports.

The airport's volume of trade today exceeded Telecom's and it ended up 6c, or 2.93 percent, at 196.

Overall it was a disappointing day, with not much about and people probably waiting for the reporting season to start later this month, said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

He did not believe Telecom's announcement affected the company's stock price today.

The $5 million package was not much off the company's bottom line but the whole episode had damaged the company's reputation, he said.

However, with Auckland Airport, people liked what the company was doing, he said.

In other stocks in the top 50 at the end of the day, Sky City was down 2c to 332 on about 1.2 million shares traded, Goodman Property Trust was down also 2c, to 101, and Fletcher Building lost 7c to 783.

AMP Office was down 2c to 72, Infratil leaked 1c to 162, The Warehouse shed 1c to 385 and Hallenstein Glasson fell 5c to 365.

ING Property ended the day up 1c at 78, Air NZ rose 2c to 131 and NZ Oil & Gas gained 1c to 150.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare improved 4c to 339, Mainfreight lifted 3c to 583 and Nuplex rose 2c to 323, while Pike River Coal was up 3c to 98.

Kiwi Income Property Trust was unchanged at 103, as was Contact Energy at 580 and Fisher & Paykel Appliances at 60.

In overseas markets Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index was up 68.5 points to 4592.60 in the afternoon, recovering from a near three-month closing low on Monday.

Japan's Nikkei average rose 1.9 percent on Tuesday, with Toyota Motor Corp jumping after detailing plans of its fix for recalled vehicles, while exporters climbed on a weaker yen and stronger-than-expected economic data.

The benchmark Nikkei gained 191.46 points to 10,396.48 after briefly falling as far as 10,129.91 on Monday, around the level of the Nikkei's 75-day average, which market players said should serve as support for now.

In the US stocks rose on Monday as better-than-expected data on the manufacturing sector and earnings from Exxon Mobil revived bullish sentiment after stocks closed out their worst month in almost a year.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 118.20 points, or 1.17 percent, to close at 10,185.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 15.32 points, or 1.43 percent, at 1,089.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 23.85 points, or 1.11 percent, at 2,171.20.

The S&P 500's gain comes after three consecutive weeks of losses, but the broad index is still off 5.3 percent from its 15-month closing high set on January 19.

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