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NZ sharemarket edges lower early

Tuesday 29th March 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket eased in early trading, as Fletcher Building lost some of the gain it made yesterday when it reached a three-year high of $9.28.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 1.37 points to 3406.68, after yesterday gaining 19.4 points.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was down 9c early to $9.15, having closed up 20c yesterday amid positive sentiment about the work it is expected to get in rebuilding earthquake-hit Christchurch.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) fell 10c to $3.70, and NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) dropped 5c to $5.00.

Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) lifted 8c to $8.83, Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) was up 5c to $7.55, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) added 4c to $3.49, Tower (NZX: TWR ) was up 2c to $1.82, and Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) lifted 2c to $1.12. Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) edged up 1c to $5.80 and Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was unchanged early at $1.99.

In the US, stocks spent most of the day in positive territory driven by strength in the telecommunications sector and consumer spending data.

But by the end of the day indices were down as the corporate outlook was clouded ahead of earnings and uncertainty continued to creep from abroad, while volume hit its lowest level of the year.

A warning from hotel operator Marriott International hurt hotel and other consumer shares, amid expectations of other negative corporate earnings pre-announcements.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2% to 12,197.88, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.3% to 1310.19, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.5% to 2730.68.



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