Wellington, Nov 23 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started the week flat on light volume but annual meetings and trading updates provided interest in selected stocks.
The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed down 0.653 points, or 0.021 percent, at 3112.976. Turnover was worth $52 million. There were 51 rises and 39 falls among the 120 stocks traded.
Ross Cuthbert, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said it was a low volume day but this was unique to New Zealand as volumes were down in other markets. Telecom fell 8c to 248, but much of the move was due to it trading ex a 6c a share dividend today.
Fletcher Building rose 4c to 771 on a day in which James Hardie Industries jumped more than 7 percent on the Australian market after saying the US housing market appears to be nearing bottom. Ryman Healthcare eased a cent to 195 after reporting a 12.2 percent rise in interim profit a record.
"Operationally things look strong even when you exclude the gains on property revaluations," Mr Cuthbert said.
NZOG rose 1c to 170 after saying a drilling rig is expected to reach the Albacore exploration area in the Taranaki Basin by tomorrow.
Mr Cuthbert said this was the start of the company's summer drilling programme.
Pike River Coal eased 1c to 99 after updating shareholders at its annual meeting in Westport.
Shares in retailer Postie Plus Group, which said first quarter sales were up 15 percent from a year earlier, rose 1c to 40.
Hallenstein Glasson rose 7c to 320 but The Warehouse fell 3c to 405 and Hellaby rose 4c to 160.
Tower rose 5c to 180 and AMP rose 8c to 805.
Cavalier rose 4c to 234. Contact rose 4c to 595 and Trust Power was unchanged at 745. NZ Refining rose 12c to 514 and Infratil was unchanged at 150.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2c to 321 and the appliances stock was unchanged at 63.
Kathmandu, which entered the top 50 index today, fell 2c to 215.
SkyCity eased 6c to 331, NZX 3c to 788, Auckland Airport 1c to 185 and Restaurant Brands 1c to 148. Scot Tech rose 10c to 106 and Vector rose 4c to 196.
In the United States, stocks fell for a third straight day on Friday (local time) as investors took weaker-than-expected results from computer maker Dell and homebuilder DR Horton as a further sign that the recovery would be anaemic.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.1 percent to 10,318.16, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.3 percent to 1091.38, and the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.5 percent to 2146.04.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq shed 1 percent.
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