Flat day for NZ shares

03:59, Jun 15 2009

The New Zealand sharemarket was little changed today ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's interest rate decision tomorrow.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 5.567 points, or 0.197 percent, at 2827.971, after yesterday gaining 5.8 points.

Turnover was $78.33 million. There were 47 rises and 40 falls among the 116 stocks traded.

Investors are divided on whether the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will cut the official cash rate from its current 2.5 percent tomorrow to further stimulate the economy.

Auckland Airport was unchanged at 159 and Air NZ rose 1c to 104 on a day in which Qantas subsidiary Jetstar generated a lot of publicity for the start of its domestic services in New Zealand.

Bashing of Australian banks for not passing on official cash rate cuts in New Zealand had no impact on investors. ANZ rose 70c to 2150 and Westpac rose 47c to 2530. Demand for home loans in Australia hit a 14-month high in April as first home buyers took advantage of government grants and low interest rates.


NZOG rose 2c to 161 as strong commodities prices boosted commodity companies and markets across Asia. The Australian sharemarket was up 2 percent as New Zealand closed and Japan's market rose to an eight month high.

Companies with an exposure to Australia benefited from news that the Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment in Australia posted its biggest increase in 22 years in June.

Michael Hill rose 2c to 69. Lion Nathan rose 4c to 1466 and Telecom rose 1c to 262. Fletcher Building rose 7c to 689.

Wellington Drive Technologies fell 1.5c to 15 after signalling a bigger than expected annual loss.

Fisher and Paykel Appliances eased 3c to 66 and the rights fell 3c to 25. The healthcare stock eased 5c to 310.

NZX rose 11c to 786 and the rights rose 6c to 370.

Mainfreight fell 9c, or 2.1 percent, to 415, while Port of Tauranga lost 8c to 625 and Infratil fell 1c to 175.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay gained 1c to 51 on good volume. PGG Wrightson rose 3c to 140.

Rubicon rose 7c to 75 on a day the Takeovers Panel considers a partial takeover of the company.

Metlifecare eased 15c to 180. Taylors rose 9c to 160. Xero rose 6c to 125.

The Nasdaq rose on Tuesday after an improved outlook from Texas Instruments lifted technology stocks, but news that 10 big banks will repay TARP funds failed to stir investor enthusiasm.

Shares of Texas Instruments Inc jumped 6.3 percent after the company raised its quarterly earnings and revenue targets.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.43 points, or 0.02 percent, to 8763.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 3.29 points, or 0.35 percent, to 942.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 17.73 points, or 0.96 percent, to 1860.13.