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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket starts week lower

Monday 2nd May 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket closed lower even though futures prices indicated the United States sharemarket will rise on news of the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden when it opens.

"Markets across the globe received a bit of a boost in afternoon trade as news broke that US forces had killed Osama bin Laden. This will no doubt be plastered all over the world's media overnight and will ensure US trade commences on a buoyant note," Ben Potter, at IG Markets, said.

"However, like many euphoric bounces, they are often short lived," he said.

The benchmark NZX-50 index ending down 21.463 points, or 0.61 points, at 3497.864. Wall Street had risen on Friday but many regional Asian markets were closed for a holiday today.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) ended down 5c, or down 1.39%, at $3.55 after earlier rising 2.2%. Gold prices were at a record high at the end of last week but investors became nervous about commodity prices when the silver price plunged in Asia today.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) fell 2c to $2.15.5, Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) fell 12c to $9.07 and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) fell 7c to $5.88.

Pumpkin Patch (NZX: PPL ) fell 6c to $1.22 and Kathmandu Holdings (NZX: KMD ) fell 8c to $2.45 but The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) rose 4c to $3.69.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) rose 4c to $3.60 and Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) rose 1c to 92. Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) rose 4c to $4.54 and Vital Healthcare (NZX: VHP ) rose 1c to $1.13.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) fell a cent to $3.25 and Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) eased 3c to $9.25.

In the US, stocks rose on Friday on strength from Caterpillar and other industrials, lifting the Dow and Nasdaq to their best monthly performance since December.

"Now that earnings are coming in, the investment community is telling you that once some of these negative issues subside - sovereign debt, Middle Eastern tensions - this market is going to rip," said Jason Weisberg, managing director at Seaport Securities Corp.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.4% to 12,810.54, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.2% to 1363.61, and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.04% to 2873.54.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4%, the S&P 500 gained 2% and the Nasdaq advanced 1.9%. The blue-chip Dow average climbed 4% for the month while the S&P 500 rose 2.8% and the Nasdaq gained 3.3%.



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