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Sharemarket flat as Vector hit again

Tuesday 12th April 2011

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Shares in electricity and gas distributor Vector took another hit in early trading, the day after the company expressed dissatisfaction with a Commerce Commission proposal related to regulated pricing for monopoly network owners.

Vector (NZX: VCT ) shares were down 10c early today to $2.36, having lost 11c yesterday after the commission published a proposal to change the basis for the default price path used for electricity distribution businesses.

The proposal overturned the basis which most lines companies and market participants had been using to estimate the impact of the new regulatory regime for a considerable period of time, Vector said.

The broader market was flat early, with the NZX-50 index down 0.08 points to 3461.24 around 10.20am, having gained 16 points yesterday on the back of a 15c rise in the price of Fletcher Building shares.

Today, Fletcher (NZX: FBU ) gave up 2c early to $9.50, with other movements of key shares including a 0.5c lift by Telecom (NZX: TEL ) to $2.00, while Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was unchanged on $5.73.

Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) lost 10c early to $8.40, Sanford (NZX: SAN ) was down 3c to $5.52, Air NZ (NZX: AIR ) lost 2c to $1.10, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) was down 2c to $3.07, and Tower (NZX: TWR ) dropped 2c to $1.84. Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) gained 5c to $3.06.

In the US, stocks mostly fell as energy shares sold off on lower oil prices, and the onset of earnings season was clouded by concern that company outlooks may fall short of expectations.

Worries that increased raw material costs and the effects from Japan's earthquake may affect coming quarters would put companies' forward-looking statements under increased scrutiny.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.01% at 12,381.11, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.3% at 1324.46, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.3% at 2771.51.



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