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NZ sharemarket little changed to cap off quiet week

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 18 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket ended a lacklustre week on a quiet note, and brokers struggled to see anything on the horizon to jolt the market to life.

Current account and gross domestic product data next week may provide some impetus.

Also, many Asian sharemarkets drifted today, though the Australian market defied soft leads to put in a better performance than other markets in the region.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 1.784 points, or 0.059 percent, at 3047.503. There were 31 rises and 40 falls among the 109 stocks traded. The index has posted gains on seven of the last eight trading days but volume has been light. Turnover today was worth $79 million.

"We are firmer but it is nothing to get too excited about," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

"All week we have pretty small volumes, and a lot of sideways trading with nothing to focus on."

Telecom rose 2c to 188 and traded as high as 190, which is off its 179 low. The company is to refund a total of about $120,000 to around 1300 broadband customers as part of a settlement with the Commerce Commission.

Vector rose 2c to 217 after offering its thoughts on a Commerce Commission paper on a proposed method of regulation.

Auckland Airport rose 3c to 193 after saying the various tax changes in the budget offset each other for the airport, but created a large accounting item in the accounts.

Air New Zealand rose 2c to 117 after releasing May operating statistics.

SkyTV rose 3c to 498 with investors continuing to monitor what valuations for BSkyB might mean for the New Zealand pay television operator.

Cavalier Carpets rose 5c to 255, Hellaby rose 3c to 163 and Hallenstein Glassons rose 13c to 363. Kathmandu, which has its winter sale under way, rose 10c to 215. Restaurant Brands rose 5c to 233.

Other firming stocks included NZX up 1c to 150, Infratil 2c to 162, Ebos 6c to 626, TrustPower 3c to 729 and Tower 1c to 194.

The share price of Guinness Peat Group continues to languish, trading between 63 and 65 before ending up 1c at 64, with investors adopting a wait and see approach to demerger plans.

Mainfreight fell 3c to 612, NZ Refining fell 5c to 310 and Fletcher Building fell 7c to 814.

In the United States, the stock market managed a slender gain after traders shook off disappointing employment and manufacturing reports.

Traders began buying late in the session, although without the vehemence that has marked other final-hour moves in recent weeks.

Investors were looking for safe holdings, a sign that the economy is still uncertain enough for them to hedge their bets.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent to 10,434.17, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.1 percent to 1116.04, and the Nasdaq rose 0.1 percent to 2307.16.

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