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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket falls, ending run of rises

Wednesday 6th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket fell for the first time in 16 days today as leading stocks became susceptible to profit-taking.

Brokers reported large sellers in Telecom, while a decline in the price of Fletcher Building was also a drag on the index.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 19.5 points, or 0.562%, at 3449.876 after opening down 6.71 points. Yesterday it reached a 31-month intraday high around 3472 points before ending the day up 9.9 points.

"It is only natural to see a little bit of profit-taking and volume is light," said James Snell at First NZ Capital.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) fell 5c to $2.01.

"It looks like there is heavy selling around in Telecom. The orders started from the start of the day and there are two or three sellers out there," Snell said.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ), which rose to $9.42 yesterday and ended at $9.41, was down 9c to $9.32.

The company has been on the rise with the $1.3 billion deal to buy Australia's Crane Group, transforming it into the largest building materials business in this country and Australia.

The stock's inclusion in the S&P/ASX 200 Index and its larger weight in local indices has also attracted more heavy-weight investors.

Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) shares fell 20c to $7.45, and The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) dropped 12c to $3.43.

Hallenstein Glassons (NZX: HLG )  fell 7c to $3.74, NZ Refining (NZX: NZR ) fell 14c to $4.65 and Pyne Gold Corp (NZX: PGC ) fell a cent to 26.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) fell 5c to $3.42, Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) fell 3c to $8.27 and Infratil (NZX: IFT ) fell 3c to $1.89. OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) rose 24c to $3.79 as the gold price continued to set records.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) rose a cent to 43.01, Tower (NZX: TWR ) rose 3c to $1.88 and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) rose 4c to 43.65. Cavalier Carpets (NZX: CAV ) rose 4c to $3.65 and TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) rose 1c to $7.21. Sanford (NZX: SAN ) rose 5c to $5.30. Property for Industry (NZX: PFI ) rose 1c to $1.17.

In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index failed to break a key technical resistance level for a second day as low trading volume raised further questions about the market's strength.

The broader market index closed slightly below 1333, a closely watched level as it represents a doubling from the low reached in March 2009.

"The (low) volume is a sign that there is little conviction from sellers in this market," said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist for LPL Financial in Boston.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1% to end at 12,393.90, the S&P index inched down just 0.02% to 1332.63, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1% to 2791.19.



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