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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket remains in red

Wednesday 19th January 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket remained in the red today, refusing to follow the lead of a stronger Australian market and getting no steer from the US where markets were closed for a public holiday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 10.56 points, or 0.3%, at 3343.74, following yesterday's 15-point decline.

Top stock Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was up 1c at $2.27, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) lost 2c to $6.34, and Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was down 4c at $7.86.

Having hit its highest level yesterday since May 2008 - $2.27 - Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) closed down 3c at $2.21.

The airport company released a study today showing its role in the regional and national economy was expected to grow "substantially" in the future.

A range of businesses on or near the airport, referred to as the Airport Corridor, would generate or facilitate $5-$6 billion annually in the regional economy by 2031, up from $3 billion now.

At a national level, the largest impact was from the tourism sector, while within the Auckland economy the largest impact would shift from freight-related activity to passenger activity, the study forecast.

Among other blue chips, Sky City (NZX: SKC ) lost a cent to $3.26, Sky TV (NZX: SKT ) fell 2c to $5.26 and Infratil (NZX: IFT ) was up a cent at $1.93.

Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) shed 7c to $7.43, Trustpower (NZX: TPW ) fell 8c to $7.20, Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) shed 5c to $1.45 and Sanford (NZX: SAN ) was down 5c at $4.55.

The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was up 3c at $3.62, NZ Refining (NZX: NZR ) gained 6c to $4.56, and Kathmandu Holdings (NZX: KMD ) rose 3c to $1.80.

Diligent Board Member Services (NZX: DIL ) gained 13c to 79, after reporting a strong December quarter. The stock earlier hit a three-year high of 80.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (NZX: KIP ) was up a cent at $1.00 after saying a change to international accounting rules will boost unit holders' funds by about $214 million.

Dual-listed stocks were mixed, with Westpac (NZX: WBC ) up 24c at $29.00, ANZ (NZX: ANZ ) up 25c at $29.55, but AMP (NZX: AMP ) down 5c at $6.61 and Telstra (NZX: TLS ) flat at $3.66.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 39 points, or 0.8%, at 4802.

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