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MARKET CLOSE: NZ sharemarket slips from 28-month high

Friday 14th January 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket retreated from a 28 month high today after international markets weakened.

Brokers said there was some profit-taking ahead of the weekend and ahead of December quarter inflation data next week.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 3.815 points, or 0.113%, at 3369.89. Turnover was worth $56 million. There were 36 rises and 33 falls among the 11 stocks traded.

"Across Asia, regional markets are mixed after a drop in commodity prices saw Wall Street post modestly weaker leads," Ben Potter at IG Markets said.

But optimism is building about the health of the United States economic recovery and a strong earnings season is expected.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ), which has completed sending offer documents to Crane Group shareholders, eased 2c to $7.94. Both sides have been talking about their positions this week.

While PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ) today spelt out the procedure for the partial takeover by Chinese company Agria. PGG Wrightson rose 1c to 55, which is less than the 60c Agria is offering.

The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) rose 2c to $3.56 on a day there was speculation of a management shakeup after the company said on January 5 that sales in the two months ended January 2 were down 2.7% on the same period last year.

Mercer Group (NZX: MGL ) rose 3.8c to 10. The ex date for its right issue was this week.

Many Australian companies have been advising the market of the impact of the Queensland floods and some of the companies are listed in New Zealand. Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) rose 1c to $3.53 and Goodman Fielder (NZX: GFF ) fell 2c to $1.73.

APN News & Media, which is yet to advise on the impact of the floods, was untraded in this market. The Australian newspaper reported that Bank of America predicts a drop in advertising revenues of 10 to 20% over two months could cut sales by 1% and earnings per share by about 3%. The company owns newspapers in Queensland.

Beverage maker Charlie's (NZX: CHA ) rose to 1.9c on a day it said Coles supermarkets in Australia will stock more of its products.

Investment company Hellaby Holdings (NZX: HBY ) rose 5c to $2.25, which is a three year high.

Ryman Healthcare (NZX: RYM ) was up 2c to a 3-1/2-year high $2.37, while NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZO ) eased 2c below yesterday's 18-month high at $4.50.

Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was up 3c to $6.38, Telecom (NZX: TEL ) slipped 1c to $2.28 from yesterday's 11-month high, and TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) was unchanged at $7.30.

Xero (NZX: XRO ) fell 25c to $2.55.

In the US, stocks were hurt by a slide in drugmaker Merck and as falling commodities prices hit shares of natural resource companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.2% at 11,731.90, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.2% at 1283.76, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.07% at 2735.29.



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