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MARKET CLOSE: Market closes on quiet note despite promising results

Wednesday 16th February 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket closed on a quiet note despite Fletcher Building reporting promising half year results.

Shares in New Zealand's biggest construction company fell 4c in early trading, after reporting a 8% rise in half year net profit, but made a modest comeback later in the day, rising 2c to $8.23.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) said total sales for the six months to the end of December were 2.2% higher than a year earlier as a result of increased volumes in many of the company's Australian businesses.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 5.61 points to 3384.48, after gaining 6 points yesterday.

Sky City (NZX: SKC ), which said it lifted its half year normalised net profit 2.1%, fell 4c to $3.29.

The casino and hotel operator, which reported a flattish half year, is pushing hard to establish itself as Auckland's entertainment hub, with capital spending of $50 million on the facilities this financial year.

The sharemarket fell in early trading as miner OceanaGold gave up some of the gain of almost 10% it made yesterday.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) shares fell 8c to $3.67 having risen 33c yesterday after reporting an increase in its South Island reserves.

Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ), the fast food franchise operator, fell 7c to $2.45, Skellerup (NZX: SKL ) was down 1c to $1.25, and NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) fell 8c to $5.10.

Steel & Tube Holdings (NZX: STU ) added 3c to $2.50 after last week reporting an improved half year net profit of $8.4 million. Vector (NZX: VCT ) added 1c to $2.50 on the day it announced it was appealing Commerce Commission decisions over input methodologies for the electricity distribution sector.

Kathmandu Holdings (NZX: KMD ) fell 1c to $2.12, Telecom (NZX: TEL ) eased 1c to $2.23, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) fell 2c to $6.20 and Sanford (NZX: SAN ), the fisheries company, added 5c, or just over 1%, to $5.00.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) added 2c to $3.70, Sky TV (NZX: SKT ) added 3c to $5.40, Manfreight (NZX: MFT ) gained 7c to $8.12 and Trustpower (NZX: TPW ) was unchanged at $7.20.

In the US, stocks closed lower after a surprisingly weak retail sales report.

The Commerce Department said US retail sales rose just 0.3% in January, the smallest increase since June and half of what economists had predicted.

According to preliminary figures, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3% to 12,226, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 0.3% to 1328, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.4% to 2804.



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