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MARKET REPORT: Sharemarket shrugs off weak start to close up

Wednesday 13th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket managed to close higher after shrugging off a weak opening when worries about global growth spooked investors around the world.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 6.291 points, or 0.182%, at 3457.629 after opening down 11.27 points. There were 35 rises and 45 falls among the 112 stocks traded. Turnover was worth $106.97 million. The Australian market also managed to lift off lows and Asian markets were mixed.

Brokers said equity markets have been subject to profit-taking after sustained runs higher and investors are waiting for the upcoming US earnings season to see how businesses performed in the first quarter.

"The big question going forward is can the market maintain its recent momentum or do gains slow," Ben Potter at IG Markets said.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) eased 10c to $9.28 on good volume.

Cavalier Carpets (NZX: CAV ) was down 9c at $3.49 and the Commerce Commission today released a preliminary view that Cavalier's plans to acquire New Zealand Wool Services International's wool scouring assets would create a monopoly.

Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) rose 3c to $2.18.5 after releasing operating statistics today, and Air NZ (NZX: AIR ) was up a cent at $1.13.

Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) rose 7c to $5.83 and Steel & Tube (NZX: STU ) rose 4c to $2.74. NZOG (NZX: NZO ) eased 2c to 94 and OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) eased 2c to $3.70. NZ Refining (NZX: NZR ) eased 5c to $4.70.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was unchanged $1.98.

APN News (NZX: APN ) rose 2c to $2.12 on light volume. Pyne Gould Corp (NZX: PGC ) rose 1c to 29. PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ) was unchanged at 52.

NZX (NZX: NZX ) eased 3c to $2.14 and Skellerup (NZX: SKL ) was unchanged at $1.35. SkyCity  (NZX: SKC ) eased a cent to $3.46 on a day it warned shareholders that they may receive an unsolicited offer after the company received a request for its share register. The so-called low ball offers from limited partnerships associated with Bernard Whimp have targeted a number of companies.

Charlies (NZX: CHA ) rose 3c to 31 after yesterday saying third quarter sales were ahead of last year. Ecoya (NZX: ECO ) was down 7c at 73.

World stocks, as measured by the MSCI's main world equity index, were down 1.3%, the index's biggest one-day decline in four weeks.

Worries over global growth were heightened after Japan's economic minister warned that damage caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami could be worse than initially thought for the world's third-largest economy.

"The market is increasingly becoming concerned about the situation in Japan and that high oil prices and high commodity prices will eventually hurt economic growth," said Mark Bronzo, money manager at Security Global Investors in Irvington, New York.

In the US, stocks ended lower after disappointing revenue figures from aluminium maker Alcoa marked the start of the quarterly earnings season, and on worries falling oil prices could set off a reversal in the high-flying energy sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1% at 12,263.58, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.8% at 1314.16, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1% at 2744.79.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares slipped 1.7%, with miners and energy firms among the heaviest losers. Emerging markets, which count several resource exporters in their ranks, fell 1.9%.



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