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NZ sharemarket's top-50 still circling

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 13 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose only fractionally today, with little sign that local traders had been much buoyed by expectations that the US Federal Reserve will take further measures to stabilise America's economic recovery, essentially by printing money.

The NZ market remained below five-month highs, the benchmark NZX-50 index opened at 3230.831, and initially rose by 2.99 points, but finished the day at 3231.816, up 0.985 points (0.03 percent).

It has spent nearly three weeks circling below a high point of 3253 points reached on September 21.

There were 106 stocks traded, with 29 rises and 37 falls.

The day's total turnover of 31.5 million shares was worth $88.35m

The top volumes were turned over in Telecom (8.6m shares worth $17,566,565) Guinness Peat (3.6m shares worth $2.55m) and Goodman Properties (2.25m shares worth $2.22m), but the top value among trades was when 770,279 Westpac shares changed hands, for $22,866,683. Westpac finished the day down 5c at $29.60.

Telecom, the cornerstone of the index, finished where it started the day: at 202c, despite a small lift after Communications Minister Steven Joyce said he had approved a variation to Telecom's operational separation undertakings, but not as originally sought by the company.

Ebos Group gained 5c early to 705 but finished down 1c at 609, Contact Energy also fell 3c to 566 after an initial lift.

Fletcher Building rose 10c to 819.

Sky City lost 4c to 288 in early trading, and finished there, while Hallenstein Glasson finished down 1c at 434, after recovering from a bigger fall in early trade.

In the United States, optimism over the potential influx of cheap cash, in a new bid to boost growth, again helped stocks hit fresh five-month highs.

Shares of drilling contractors rose after the Obama administration lifted its ban on deepwater drilling seven weeks ahead of schedule.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.1 percent to 11,020.40, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.4 percent to 1169.77, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.7 percent to 2417.92.

After opening on a strong note, the Australian stock market trimmed back early gains, leaving mining, industrial and healthcare stocks as the main shares to rise.

Energy and financial stocks were mixed.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to around 4620 after advancing to 4,656.8 in early trades, was up 12.5 points to 4630.7 at 3.57pm local time.

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