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NZ sharemarket turns lower after Telecom lowers guidance

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 15 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket pushed ahead to its highest level in 19 months in early trading before turning lower after Telecom cut its earnings guidance for the 2011 to 2013 financial years.

Asian markets were mostly higher today on strong US data and news of accelerated growth in China's economy, though the Australian market encountered profit-taking after surging through the 5000 point level for the first time since September 2008.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 14.393 points, or 0.432 percent, at 3321.12. Turnover was worth $78.8 million. There were 37 rises and 47 falls among the 122 stocks traded.

Telecom closed down 6c at 218 and traded as low as 214 after cutting guidance for its 2011 to 2013 years. The company will detail its dividend policy in May and said it is cutting 200 management jobs this year in an initial move.

"We were going along nicely and it was a classic case for the New Zealand market that one company is so big. It can have a detrimental affect on the whole market," said Stuart Hardie, adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Fletcher Building rose 8c to 853 and Contact Energy eased 6c to 642. TrustPower fell 5c to 750 and SkyCity fell 4c to 326.

Restaurant Brands was one of the better performers, rising 6c to 226 and Steel & Tube rose 5c to 275.

Air NZ rose 2c to 142. NZ Refining fell 4c to 386 and Rakon rose 1c to 98.

Pike River Coal rose 2c to 113 and NZOG eased 1c to 161.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 4c to 344 and the appliances stock was unchanged at 61.

Nuplex, which is defending a Securities Commission court action on the issue of compliance with continuous disclosure rules between December 2008 and February 2009, fell 5c to 335. It has fallen from 363 on March 30.

Kirkcaldie & Stains rose 15c to 280 and Pan Pacific Petroleum rise 2c to 40. OceanaGold rose 4c to 357.

In the United States, stocks notched a fifth straight day of gains as stronger-than-expected corporate results and March retail sales pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 past 1200 for the first time in 18 months.

More stocks hit a 52-week high on the New York Stock Exchange than on any day since the end of December 2003. The Nasdaq recorded its greatest number of 52-week highs since January 2004.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.9 percent at 11,123.11, the S&P 500 Index was up 1.1 percent at 1210.65, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.6 percent at 2504.86.

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