NZX 50 up 0.3 per cent

NICK KRAUSE
Last updated 18:11 08/11/2012

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The New Zealand sharemarket rose slightly today in stark contrast to the European and United States bourses which all retreated following the re-election of US President Barack Obama.

The NZX50 was up just 0.3 per cent or 12 points to 3955.24 which Hamilton Hindin Greene client adviser James Smalley labelled a "pretty amazing" finish given substantially poor showings in the sharemarkets in the US, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

"Obviously there's been a sell-off on the US market with Obama winning with the market concerned about the so-called fiscal cliff," Smalley said.

The dow Jones was down 400 points intraday and closed down 300 or 2.3 per cent.

"Usually with a sell-off like that you would expect our market to be down but it bucked the trend," Smalley said.
"It (NZX) managed to shrug off surprisingly weak employment data out (Thursday).

The FTSE dropped 1.6 per cent, the CAC 2 per cent and DAX 1.9 per cent while the ASX200 was slightly down 0.8 per cent.

The NZX's main positive contributor was Contact Energy, the country's biggest listed electricity company whose shares were up 1.5 per cent to $5.36 a share on light trading.

Fletcher Building, the country's biggest construction firm, saw its shares close higher at $7.34, up 1.24 per cent.

Smalley said ending the day in positive territory could also be down to the reallocation of capital with the news this week that Kiwi whiteware manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Appliances will be sold on to Chinese whiteware giant Haier.

"It's people continuing to chase yield and that's holding our market up," Smalley said.

On the down side, retail stocks took a tumble with the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu Holdings down 0.6 per cent to $1.71 while jeweller Michael Hill International came off Wednesday's high to finish at $1.20 after falling 3.23 per cent.

Chorus, the country's largest telecommunications infrastructure company, saw shares fall 1.8 per cent on good volumes of 1.78m to finish at $3.22 as investors took a conservative approach pending a Commerce Commission ruling on part of the network, Smalley said.

Telecom, the country's biggest phone company, finished flat at $2.38 despite trading volumes of almost 1.4m shares.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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