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Sharemarket flat ahead of CPI data

Monday 18th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket was flat in early trading ahead of March quarter inflation figures and after the NZ dollar briefly touched US80c for the first time in three years.

Highlights for the start of the week included an 8c rise by OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) to $3.85, Scott Technology (NZX: SCT ) up 5c to $1.40, and Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) up 4c to $2.54.

Among the leading stocks Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) slipped 1c to $9.17, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) dropped 2c to $5.78, and Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was up 1.5c to $1.99.5.

NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) was down 6c to $4.64 early, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) dropped 4c to $9.30, Sky TV  (NZX: SKT ) fell 3c to $5.75, and Xero (NZX: XRO ) fell 3c to $2.50.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 1.53 points to 3454.22, having closed down 1.8 points on Friday.

In the US, encouraging economic indicators sent stocks higher on Friday (local time), but the market's recent struggles are expected to continue into this week when more than a fifth of Standard & Poor's 500 Index companies report results.

Investors favoured defensive stocks on Friday, which tend to do better in times of waning growth.

Disappointing results from Google and Infosys weighed on technology shares, while financials were pressured by Bank of America's results.

US consumer price inflation remained contained in March while industrial production increased. A separate survey showed improvement in consumer sentiment in April.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.5% to 12,341.83, the S&P 500 Index rose 0.4% to 1319.68, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2% to 2764.65.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.3% while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each lost 0.6%.



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