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NZ Sharemarket Starts The Week In Retreat

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 8 NZPA -The New Zealand sharemarket drifted lower today after receiving mixed signals from offshore and as investors wait for Telecom to report earnings on Friday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 11.54 points, or 0.372 percent, at 3093.451, after starting the day in positive territory. The market fell 1.4 percent on Friday.

Turnover was worth $80.9 million. There were 22 rises and 48 falls among the 107 stocks traded.

Wall Street had sent mixed signals on Friday, erasing early weakness to end slightly ahead, while the Australian market was firm.

There was little corporate news to trade on today but the focus is turning to Steel & Tube's result on Thursday and Telecom's second quarter result on Friday.

Peter Sigley at Goldman Sach's JBWere said investors were interested in how the mobile phone market was performing for Telecom and also in the impact of the recent XT network failure.

Steel & Tube is also an important result as the company reflects economic activity generally.

Investors are also expecting Prime Minister John Key's opening statement to Parliament tomorrow to provide guidance on economic policy, particularly on tax.

Telecom fell 1c to 230 and Steel & Tube fell 4c to 276.

Contact Energy rose 2c to 583 and Fletcher Building fell 2c to 750. Hallenstein Glasson rose 9c to 364 and SkyTV rose 3c to 480.

NZOG rose 1c to 146. The Warehouse rose 3c to 378. Cavalier Carpets eased 1c to 277 and Michael Hill fell 2c to 66.

SkyCity rose 2c to 324 and Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 60.

NZ Refining fell 15c to 366 after reporting operating margins for November and December. Port of Tauranga fell 7c to 705.

Infratil eased a cent to 161 and Air NZ eased 2c to 128. ING Medical Property Trust eased 2c to 116.

AMP eased 2c to 773 after saying it will consider its position in relation to AXA Asia Pacific.

In the US on Friday, stocks erased a midday drop to end slightly higher, closing out a volatile week punctuated by mixed signals from the labour market data and growing anxiety over fiscal problems in Europe.

Major indexes turned positive heading into the close, as investors scooped up shares in the technology and materials sectors - two of the worst performers during the market's latest pullback.

US employers unexpectedly cut 20,000 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate dropped to a five-month low of 9.7 percent, the Labour Department reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.1 percent at 10,012.23, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ended up 0.3 percent at 1066.19, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to close at 2141.12.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.6 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.3 percent, marking their fourth consecutive weekly drop.

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