Wednesday 9th March 2011
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The New Zealand sharemarket failed to keep pace with markets in Asia today as investors waited to see if the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) will cut the official cash rate (OCR) tomorrow.
The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 6.748 points, or 0.197%, at 3414.424. Turnover was worth $157.2 million, of which $52 million was in Fletcher Building. There were 34 rises and 42 falls among the 108 stocks traded.
"After overseas markets had a good performance overnight the New Zealand market has been treading water in advance of the OCR announcement," Ross Cuthbert at Craigs Investment Partners said.
The central bank is expected to cut the OCR to 2.5% from 3% tomorrow because of the Christchurch earthquake but economists are divided on the need for such a move.
Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) was a star performer again, rising 28c to a new record of 910.
The company's shares ended up 23c yesterday and up 47c on Monday after it announced it had agreed to buy Netherlands-based transport and logistics firm Wim Bosman Group.
"People are very pleased at their European acquisition and they have proven themselves well in terms of previous acquisitions," Cuthbert said.
Profit-taking took its toll on Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ), which eased 6c to 878.
NZX (NZX: NZX ) gained 10c to 200 as boss Mark Weldon takes a leave of absence to lead efforts to raise money for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.
OceanaGold (NZX: OCG ) was up 4c early and finished up 9c at 390.
Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) rose 3c to 357 even though it said trading at the start of its second half year has been challenging.
Telecom (NZX: TEL ) eased 2c to 208, Kathmandu (NZX: KMD ) 2c to 199, Sanford (NZX: SAN ) 5c to 490, Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) 7c to 323 and SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) 2c to 342. Freightways (NZX: FRE ) fell 13c to 315 and Xero (NZX: XRO ) 10c to 252. .
In the United States, stocks ended higher after on upbeat profit forecast from Bank of America and a pullback in oil prices. Technicals underscored the market's near-term resilience.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1% at 12,214.61, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.9% at 1321.82, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.7% at 2765.77.
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