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NZ Sharemarket Starts Day Down

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 29 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket had a gloomy start to Friday, taking the gloss off any rises it made during the middle of the week.

The benchmark NZX50 index opened at 3182.604 and lost 7.875 points, or 0.25 percent, to 3175.729 in the opening 20 minutes of trading this morning.

Tourism Holdings lost 4c to 89, Sanford shed 8c to 480, and Telecom, struggling with the failure of its XT network, lost 1c to 240 after losing 3c yesterday.

Fletcher Building lost 4c to 803, Guinness Peat Group slipped 1c to 86 and Nuplex dipped 1c to 324.

Hallenstein Glasson, which reported first half sales were up 6.7 percent on a year ago and expectations its interim profit to be up 50 percent, was up 15c to 340.

ING Property rose 2c to 77, Michael Hill International was up 1c to 70 and Pike River Coal gained 1c to 99.

Auckland Airport continued to be on a trading halt this morning, as it said that more than 99 percent of eligible institutional shareholders have taken up its 1 in 16 share offer.

The airport company said it had raised about $69.4 million through the offer, receiving "overwhelming support" from existing institutional shareholders.

The stock last traded at 192 and new shares are being sold at 165.

In the US stocks dropped yesterday as poor outlooks from Motorola and Qualcomm dented optimism in the technology sector, while worries about Greece's fiscal health dragged on sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115.70 points, or 1.13 percent, to end unofficially at 10,120.46. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 12.97 points, or 1.18 percent, to finish unofficially at 1084.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 42.41 points, or 1.91 percent, to close unofficially at 2179.00.

The Australian share market closed modestly higher on yesterday, boosted by investor reaction to upbeat remarks in United States President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

At the 1415 AEDT close, the benchmark S&P ASX200 index had risen 28.7 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 4673.3, while the broader All Ordinaries had lifted 27.7 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 4697.7.

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