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NZ Shares Drift To Uninspiring Close

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Melanie Carroll of NZPA

Wellington, June 10 NZPA - The sharemarket held up today while other markets around Asia gave up ground, but shares drifted to an uninspiring close on minimal volume.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index, which yesterday slumped 1.5 percent to a seven-week low, closed up 9.4 points, or 0.3 percent, at 3505.9. Turnover totalled $87.7 million.

"That's like January days, so it's pretty disappointing all round," said Stephen Wright of ASB Securities.

Top stock Telecom was up a cent at 386, second-ranked Contact Energy lost 5c to 859, and Fletcher Building fell 2c to 735.

Casino company Sky City was down 6c at 351 in the wake of Friday's news that the sale of its cinema business had fallen through.

Sky TV was down 6c at 464, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 7c to 244, F&P Appliances was down 7c at 220, and infrastructure investor Infratil gained 7c to 215.

PGG Wrightson closed at a record high of 261, up 13c or 5 percent, as its offshoot NZ Farming Systems Uruguay embarked on presentations from Sydney to New York.

NZFSU was up 4c at 190.

Oil producer and explorer NZ Oil and Gas was down 2c at 158, ahead of its rights conversion at 150 on June 30.

"If it wasn't for the exercise of the lots of options coming up, that would probably be doing a lot better," Mr Wright said.

"It's a lot of money for people to come up with, and it's mainly held by private clients."

Despite soaring fuel costs, transport companies Mainfreight gained 7c to 736 and Freightways was up 4c at 329.

Retailer Postie Plus punished after reporting a 7.5 percent fall in quarterly sales and the fire sale of its Arbuckles chain to major shareholder Jan Cameron yesterday, was down 3c at a record low 39.

Fellow retailer Briscoe Group was sold down 2c to 108.

Port of Tauranga fell 2c to 683 after container shipping line CMA CGM said it planned to withdraw the weekly Nemo service from New Zealand at the beginning of August.

The decision also affected Lyttelton Port, which fell 5c to 220.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 2.2 percent to 5466, and Japan's Nikkei share average slipped 1.3 percent.

In the US, the broader market was little changed, with a drop of more than $US4 ($NZ5.34) in the price of oil helping fuel-dependent sectors such as manufacturers, mitigating sharp losses in the financial and technology sectors.

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