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Shares Ease Slightly As Business Confidence Stabilises

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 12 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket eased slightly in quiet early trading today, reflecting lukewarm economic news.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 2.09 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3301.66 points in the first 10 minutes, as the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research released its latest survey showing business confidence had stabilised in the December quarter, following rapid recovery earlier in the year.

Telecom's share price was unchanged at 255 in early trading, after it was admonished by the Commerce Commission for its latest Fair Trading Act breach.

The commission said it had reached a settlement with Telecom and Xtra after they admitted breaching the Act by misleading more than 130,000 broadband customers.

While Contact Energy was also unchanged, at 634, Fletcher Building's 4c fall to 840 was a drag on the NZSX-50 index.

Auckland Airport, which fell 6c yesterday after saying it had agreed to buy a 24.55 percent stake in North Queensland Airports for $A132.8 million ($NZ166m), edged down 1c to 201.

While Fisher & Paykel Appliances firmed 1c to 64, the Healthcare stock eased 1c to 331.

Transport stocks fared better, with Freightways up 3c to 343 and Mainfreight up 1c to 579.

Reuters reported from New York this morning that US technology stocks fell as investors took profits after the Nasdaq hit a 16-month high on Friday, while shares of industrials buoyed the broad market after strong Chinese economic data.

China reported record imports of some commodities and stronger-than-expected exports, fuelling gains in world equities and adding to optimism about a global recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.70 points, or 0.28 percent, to 10,647.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 0.02 point to 1145.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 9.92 points, or 0.43 percent, to 2307.25.


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