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NZ Sharemarket Opens Slightly Firmer

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 4 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket opened today slightly firmer, but prices of the three leading stocks were mixed.

The benchmark NZX-50 index was up 8.4 points or 0.27 percent to 3143.5 after 30 minutes trading.

Telecom edged up 1c to 235, while Fletcher Building eased 2c to 773 and Contact Energy shed 1c to 584.

AMP NZ Office Trust New Zealand's largest listed investor in prime commercial office property, which reported a higher interim net profit and expressed concerns that proposed tax changes would have on the commercial property sector, shed 1c to 72.

Nuplex, which announced the appointment of a new chief executive today, fell 2c to 106.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances eased 1c to 59, while the Healthcare stock gained 1c to 338.

SkyCity advanced 7c to 325 and Sky TV put on 6c to 480.

Wall Street ended a two-day rally, with Reuters reporting stocks mostly fell, after Pfizer released a disappointing outlook and the president's commitment to bank and healthcare reform weighed on the financial and health sectors.

Pfizer Inc fell 2.5 percent to $US18.58 and led a broad decline in several health-related sectors after the world's biggest drugmaker reported quarterly earnings that missed estimates and forecast profits below expectations.

President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to overhaul the healthcare system and impose stricter regulatory reforms on Wall Street, underscoring the political risk that has driven US stocks lower in recent weeks, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21.91 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 10,274.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 7.11 points, or 0.64 percent, at 1096.21. But the Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 2190.06, even with Tuesday's close.

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