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NZ sharemarket posts modest gains in mixed trade

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 13 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket posted modest gains from a flat start today against a backdrop of improved regional markets but volume was again light.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 8.222 points, or 0.273 percent, at 3015.127. Turnover was worth $70 million. There were 38 rises and 28 falls among the 99 stocks traded.

"It was a slight rebound on light volume," said Ross Cuthbert, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

"Investors are seeing some value in certain areas," he said.

Steel & Tube rose 4c to 219, recovering some ground lost yesterday on a bleak outlook statement. Telecom rose 5c to 205, which helped the index, as did a 10c rise on Contact Energy to 580.

Property trusts were firm with AMP Office up 1c to 72, ING Property up 1c to 69 and Kiwi Income Property up 1c to 94, but Fletcher Building fell 12c to 735 and is down from 827 in June.

Mr Cuthbert said the housing market is soft and investors in Fletcher Building are looking ahead beyond the government contracts currently on the company's books.

Rural services company PGG Wrightson was down 4c to 52 after reporting a full year net profit of $23.3 million, while revenue fell 10.1 percent to $1.15 billion.

Mr Cuthbert said the company met expectations but the outlook statement was subdued.

"In New Zealand it is going to be a bold company giving bullish outlook statements so I don't think you can be too hard on Wrightson," he said.

Allied Farmers rose to 2.7c from 2.5c yesterday but investors are waiting for news on its finance company unit.

APN News fell 8c to 252 even though it reported strong readership figures in New Zealand.

Sanford fell 3c to 397, TrustPower fell 3c to 715 and Hallenstein Glasson fell 1c to 384.

The Warehouse rose 2c to 349, SkyTV rose 2c to 501, Ebos rose 5c to 655, and NZ Refining rose 4c to 300.

Air NZ rose 1c to 114 on a day it announced senior executive Ed Sims will leave the company.

In the US, stocks ended down for a third straight day as the rise in jobless claims and a sobering revenue outlook from Cisco underscored the hurdles to economic recovery.

The latest drop comes a day after all three major indexes posted their worst percentage declines in more than a month, erasing gains for the year in the aftermath of a gloomier outlook from the US Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.6 percent to 10,319.95, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 1083.61, and the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.8 percent to 2190.27.

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