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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket holds onto early losses

Tuesday 7th December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket remained in the red after slipping in early trading today, following a flat close for stocks in the US.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 11.32 points at 3281.86, after yesterday's 9.9-point gain.

Stocks were generally mixed, but there were some hefty losses particularly among the blue chips.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) shed 7c to 783, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was down 4c at 617, Sky TV (NZX: SKT )  fell 4c to 515 and casino company Sky City (NZX: SKC ) was down a cent at 318.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) lost 3c to 215 after the first two partners to deliver the Government's ultra fast broadband (UFB) initiative were announced.

Northpower and Ultra Fast Fibre were chosen for the rollout in nine North Island areas, but Telecom said today its proposal was focused on the rest of the country.

Telecom said that structurally separating its Chorus unit as the cornerstone of a national framework for fibre was the most efficient and effective way to deliver the Government's fibre vision, which was reflected in the Telecom proposal.

Network company and fellow bidder Vector (NZX: VCT ) was up 5c at 248.

Trustpower (NZX: TPW ) fell 15c to 722, Sanford (NZX: SAN ) lost 9c to 476, Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) was down 10c at 725 and Freightway was down 7c at 300.

Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) dipped 13c to 407 after warning it found retail demand tightened in the last few months, while discount retailer The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) fell 6c to 376.

On the rise were Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) up 4c at 317, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT )  up 5c at 761, Tower (NZX: TWR ) up 2c at 201, and Infratil (NZX: IFT ) up 2c at 189.

Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) was up a cent at 142, as regulators in this country and Australia are thought to be close to deciding on its proposed alliance with Virgin Blue.

Dual-listed stocks were generally positive, with ANZ (NZX: ANZ ) up 30c at 3050, Westpac (NZX: WBC ) up 20c at 2845 and AMP (NZX: AMP ) up 8c at 665, but Telstra (NZX: TLS ) down a cent at 362.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.9% at 4731.

In the US, stocks ended little changed as persistent concerns about Europe's debt crisis frustrated investors wanting a reason to take stocks to new highs for the year.

 

NZPA



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