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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket ends little changed

Thursday 31st March 2011

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Fletcher Building was again the star of a New Zealand sharemarket that rose to its highest level since June 2008 today.

The market has notched up 12 successive trading days of gains, although the 6.69 point rise in the benchmark NZX-50 index to 3439.849 today was a modest 0.195%. The index rose as high as 3444.14 during the session.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) rose 14c to $9.34 to a new three year high and accounted for half the $163.96 million value of shares traded. The company said yesterday it has more than 90% of Crane Group and will move to compulsory acquisition of remaining shares.

"We have seen a continuation of heavy volume going through Fletcher Building in both markets," said David Price at Forsyth Barr.

"This is not driven on pure fundamentals. There is a big upweight in Fletcher Building post the Crane deal," he said.

Fletcher's larger size after the Crane acquisition means it will in future make up 15.3% in NZX-50 compared to Telecom on 9.5%. It will be nearly a quarter of the top ten index.

Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ) eased 0.5 cents to 79 on news that Gary Weiss is leaving the role of executive director. Price said it will be interesting to see where Dr Price turns up.

Scott Technology (NZX: SCT ) rose 3c to $1.45 on a day it said it has bought a controlling stake in electromagnet manufacturer HTS-110 Ltd, and it will ultimately fund the deal via a rights issue.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (NZX: KIP ) eased 1.5c to $1.00 after cutting the value of two Christchurch properties.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) fell 6c to $3.10, Sanford (NZX: SAN ) fell 4c to $5.16 and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) fell 3c to $5.82. Tower (NZX: TWR ) eased a cent to $1.87 and Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) eased a cent to $8.94.

AMP Office Trust (NZX: AMO ) rose 1c to 82 and Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) rose 0.5c to $2.21.5.

PGG Wrightson (NZX: PGW ) rose 1c to 51 after Agria extended its offer and NZX (NZX: NZX ) rose 4c to $2.14. Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) rose 4c to $2.29 and Kathmandu Holdings (NZX: KMD ) rose 4c to $2.30. Skellerup (NZX: SKL ) rose 2c to $1.33 and Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) rose 3c to $4.53.

In the US, stocks rose in activity dominated by money managers buying recent winners, including energy and small-caps, as the quarter nears its end.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.6% to 12,350.61, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.7% to 1328.26, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7% to 2776.79.



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