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Sharemarket opens slightly up on light trading

Thursday 23rd December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket opened with negligible gains on very light volumes this morning.

The benchmark NZX-50 index opened at 3322.378 and rose 4.685 points, or 0.14%, to 3327.063 at 10.15am.

NZ Oil and Gas (NZX: NZO ) was up 1c to 84, dual-listed stock Westpac (NZX: WBC ) rose 21c to $30.51, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) gained 4c to $6.21 and Goodman Property Trust (NZX: GMT ) earned 1c to 93.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) remained unchanged at $2.22, as was Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) at $7.79 and Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ) at 70.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances (NZX: FPA ) lost 1c to 53, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) was down 2c to $7.93, Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) slipped 1c to $1.49 and Sky City (NZX: SKC )  shed 2c to $3.33.

The Australian stock market yesterday closed marginally higher on low trading volumes after gains by mining giant BHP Billiton offset weaker performances by the banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 6.5 points, or 0.14%, at 4778.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 7.1 points, or 0.15%, to 4869.6 points.

US stocks edged higher on Wednesday as gains in financial stocks helped put the S&P 500 on pace for a fifth-straight winning session and lifted the benchmark index to levels not seen since before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 9.27 points, or 0.08%, to 11,542.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 2.52 points, or 0.20%, to 1,257.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.63 points, or 0.06%, to 2,669.24.

European stocks inched higher on Wednesday in holiday-thinned trade, extending a sharp December rally.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 0.2% higher at 1,147.61 points. The index has risen 7.6% in December, on track to post its best monthly performance since July 2009.

Trading was muted, however, with volume on the FTSEurofirst 300 only 65% of the index's 90-day average daily.



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