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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket eases slightly

Friday 13th May 2011

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Prices on the New Zealand sharemarket ended little changed today even though Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Alan Bollard again signalled interest rates will remain low.

"It is likely that the official cash rate will remain on hold until these downside risks pass and the economy begins to recover," Bollard said in The Press newspaper.

There was a good flow of corporate news today with TrustPower, Diligent and Kermadec releasing earnings, and earnings guidance from The Warehouse.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 4.526 points, or 0.128%, at 3535.786.

"Everything is revolving around risk appetite at the moment, which is extremely fickle," said Ben Potter at IG Markets.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) ended a recent strong run to be down 2.5c at $2.30.5 today. Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was down 4c at $8.92 and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was unchanged at $5.99.

TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) rose 1c to $7.51 after expressing optimism about a number of its projects when it reported flat underlying earnings. Its major shareholder Infratil (NZX: IFT ) rose a cent to $1.92.

Argosy Property (NZX: ARG ), the target of an approach from DNZ Property, rose a cent to 83.

Kermadec (NZX: KPF ) rose 3c to 64 after reporting improved earnings. Goodman Property (NZX: GMT ) rose 2c to $1.41.

Diligent Board Member Services (NZX: DIL ) rose 4c to $1.19 after reporting strong sales figures in first quarter accounts that nevertheless showed a loss.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) lifted 1c to $3.09 despite having issued an earnings downgrade yesterday.

The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) rose 5c to $3.74 as it announced that it expects a full-year profit of $76 million to $80 million.

Pyne Gould Corp (NZX: PGC ) eased a 2c to 31, PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ) was unchanged at 53.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) eased 2c to $3.71 after S&P revised the outlook on its credit rating to stable from positive. Air NZ (NZX: AIR ) was unchanged at $1.13 after dropping a court case challenging Auckland Airport's investment in Queenstown Airport.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.89 points to close at 12,695.92. The S&P 500 index rose 6.57 to 1,348.65. The Nasdaq added 17.98 to 2,863.04.



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