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NZ sharemarket in the black, but gives up early gains

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 3 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket shed most of its early gains today, but managed to remain positive by the end of a session lacking much in the way of news.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 6.2 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3050.39 with only a handful of stocks declining.

However, it ended well below its session high of 3069.

Stocks across Asia were stronger today, following the United States where shares closed at a 10-week high.

In New Zealand, Telecom continued building on yesterday's gains to close up 2c at 202, slowly recovering from last month's record low of 178.

Telecom is hoping to partner the Government in high-speed broadband network initiatives, and is prepared to separate its network from the rest of its business.

Among other blue chips, Fletcher Building rose 2c to 760, Auckland Airport was up a cent at 199 and Sky TV also rose a cent, to 490.

Casino company Sky City lost 2c to 303, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was down a cent at 303, and Infratil was unchanged at 162.

AMP NZ Office Trust lost a cent to 70 despite announcing a 2.5 percent rise in full year profit today, while Property for Industry rose 2c to 115 after yesterday's rise in interim profit.

Abano Healthcare rose 6c to 540, resthome operator Ryman Healthcare rose 4c to 208, carpetmaker Cavalier gained 6c to 258 and Ports of Tauranga was up 5c at 685.

Freight forwarder Mainfreight rose 6c to 676, having touched a nearly two-year high of 680 earlier in the session. Fellow freight company Freightways was down 2c at 283.

Clothing stocks were mixed, with Pumpkin Patch up 2c at 187, Hallenstein Glasson down 2c at 368, and Kathmandu Holdings down 4c at 205.

Declining stocks totalled 12 on the top-50 today.

Off the main board, Allied Farmers lost 22 percent, or 1.2c, to 4.2 after announcing a partly underwritten $19.3 million capital raising to pay down debt and achieve some growth.

Dual-listed stocks were mixed, with Westpac up 10c at 3025, ANZ up 10c at 2910 and Telstra off a cent at 406.

Following a no-change to interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia, as expected, the S&P/ASX-200 Index jumped 0.5 percent to 4563.

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