Shares close slightly higher

05:32, Jul 09 2012

The New Zealand sharemarket closed just in the black today, after a day of weak trading following the negative trend of equities markets worldwide after disappointing US employment data.

US non-farm payrolls showed around 10,000 less new jobs than economists had predicted, showing the economy was performing more poorly than expected.

The NZX50 index was up 0.04 per cent or 1.48 points to 3480.18. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 18 were down and 12 were unchanged.

Strong trading in market heavyweight Telecom helped to lift the index up, as the stock rose 1.4 per cent to $2.49.

Craigs Investment Partners adviser Greg Easton said the biggest driver today was the slightly disappointing job numbers out of the US on Friday, creating negative sentiment.

''There was a little bit of news about Chorus paying out a settlement to TelstraClear which had no impact on the share price. Goodman Property Trust was up after it announced it sold a building - the Vector Centre in Newmarket - to recycle capital into its development program for better growth prospects,'' Easton said.

Chorus rose 0.3 per cent to $3.21 and Goodman rose 1.5 per cent to $1.02 after the $20.35 million property sale.

Rural services company PGG Wrightson rose 3.2 per cent to 32c. Xero was up 2 per cent to $5.10. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the maker of breathing masks and respirators, rose 2 per cent to $2.05.

Would-be bank Heartland was up 2 per cent to 52c.

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill rose 1 per cent to 99c. Vital Healthcare was up 0.8 per cent to $1.24.

Carpet maker Cavalier rose 0.7 per cent to $1.50. International trucking and logistics company Mainfreight rose 0.6 per cent to $9.64.

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu Holdings was down 2.7 per cent to $1.46, leading the declining stocks. OceanaGold fell 1.6 per cent to $2.45. New Zealand Refining fell 1.3 per cent to $2.32.

Australian wealth manager AMP was down 1.2 per cent to $4.84. Fletcher Building fell 1.1 per cent to $6.20. national carrier Air New Zealand fell 1.1 per cent to 91c.

Westpac was down 0.9 per cent to $27.51. Casino and hotels operator SkyCity Entertainment fell 0.9 per cent to $3.44. Rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup fell 0.7 per cent to $1.42. Insurer Tower was down 0.6 per cent to $1.61