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NZ sharemarket opens weakly

Thursday 20th January 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket continued its downward trend for the week this morning, following losses in the US and failing to reflect gains made in Australia and Japan markets yesterday.

The NZX-50 index, which closed up yesterday at 3346.017, lost 2.89 points, or 0.09%, to 3343.126 in the opening 20 minutes today.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ), the most traded stock, was down 1c to $2.27, as was Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ), which lost 1c to 70.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZX: NZS ) shed 2c to 56, Kiwi Income Property Trust (NZX: KIP ) slipped 1c to 99 and Property For Industry (NZX: PFI ) lost 1c to $1.12.

NZ Oil & gas (NZX: NZO ) was unchanged at 86, as were Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) at $7.85 and Auckland International Airport (NZX: AIA ) at $2.24.

Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) gained 1 to $1.44, Ryman Healthcare (NZX: RYM ) was up 2c to $2.38 and NZ Refining (NZX: NZR ) improved 4c to $4.70, although all the positive stocks were based on tiny volumes.

In the US the S&P 500 index fell more than 1% in afternoon trading on Wednesday, its biggest daily percentage drop since November 23. Financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index after disappointing quarterly results from global investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26.60 points, or 0.22%, at 11,811.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 13.63 points, or 1.05%, at 1281.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 40.71 points, or 1.47%, at 2725.14.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei ended yesterday up 0.4% or 38.12 points at 10,557.10.

Yesterday's Australian share market hit a nine-month high to close stronger on Wednesday, driven by positive sentiment and gains in the resources sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 32.8 points, or 0.68%, at 4834.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 32.6 points, or 0.66%, to 4944.2 points.

It was the S&P/ASX200 index's highest close since April 28, 2010, when it finished at 4822.8.



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