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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket ends little changed

Thursday 7th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket was flat in early trading and stayed that way all day as the market paused from a run higher.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 0.48 points at 3450.36, after opening up 1.85 points.

"This is a period of consolidation after a pretty good recovery following the Japanese crisis," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene. "We are now flat waiting for the next catalyst for movement."

Restaurant Brands (RBD) closed up 8c at $2.45 and traded as high as $2.48 after reporting a 26% rise in annual profit, mostly due to a strong performance by KFC.

"Their result was extremely good. Trading conditions were pretty difficult but they do seem to have KFC working nicely for them," Williamson said. However, investors were starting to question where future growth would come from.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) eased 0.5c to $2.00.5 after falling 5c yesterday on heavy selling. At a telecommunications summit in Auckland yesterday, Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said new investment in the industry was drying up worldwide, with returns in telecommunications difficult to come by, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Ryman Healthcare (NZX: RYM ) lifted 3c to $2.42 after saying it would lift the building rate of its new retirement village in Tauranga.

A surge in the NZ dollar above US78c hurt some currency sensitive stocks but the NZ dollar retreated somewhat today.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) eased 2c to $3.11 and Rakon (NZX: RAK ) eased 1c to $1.09 but Sanford (NZX: SAN ) rose 23c to $5.53.

Tower (NZX: TWR ) fell 7c to $1.81 on a day the Government moved to put support structures in place for AMI Insurance. Tower is saying it is interest in AMI.

Pyne Gould Corp (NZX: PGC ) eased a cent to 25. Vector (NZX: VCT ) eased 6c to $256. PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ) eased 1c to 52.

Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) eased 1.5c to $2.17.5 and Air NZ (NZX: AIR ) was unchanged at $1.12.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) rose 21c to $4.00 and NZ Refining (NZX: NZR ) rose 10c to $2.45. Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) rose 10c to $9.20. Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ) rose 0.5c to 80. The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) rose 2c to 43.45 and TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) rose 4c to $7.25.

In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched forward on relatively light volume, with investors adding selectively to winning positions in technology, avoiding large bets ahead of earnings.

After days of struggling, the broader market index broke above the closely watched 1333 level.

It has now been nine trading days since the S&P 500 rose or fell more than 0.7%, a sign of relative calm amid few trading catalysts.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3% to close at 12,426.75. The S&P gained 0.2% to 1335.54, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3% to 2799.82.



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