Shares follow Wall Street lower
New Zealand shares opened in the red, taking their lead from Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve said it will continue to prop up the weak US economy through near zero interest rates until at least the middle of 2015.
OceanaGold lead decliners, and New Zealand Oil & Refining rose.
The NZX 50 Index fell 2.19 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 3999.25 in the first 30-minutes of trade. Within the index, 12 stocks fell, 11 rose, and 27 were unchanged.
The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US80c cents, up from US81.51c at 8am this morning after the Reserve Bank held the official cash rate at 2.5 per cent, catching some traders who'd been expecting a cut short on their positioning.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed 0.3 per cent lower after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking after the FOMC meeting overnight, said the world's biggest economy would need monetary policy support for at least another three years.
OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes and Reefton goldfields, fell 5.1 per cent to $4.27 as the price of gold extended declines. The precious metal last traded at US$1701.44 an ounce, down from US$1780 at the beginning of October.
PGG Wrightson, the rural services provider, fell 2.9 per cent to 34c with the stock still feeling the effects of investor uncertainty surrounding its Singaporean parent Agria.
Vector fell 1.8 per cent to $1.18. Yesterday the Commerce Commission recommended the Auckland gas and electricity distribution monopoly cut its gas transport prices by 16 per cent to 25 per cent in order to bring fees in line with costs.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances, the whiteware maker facing a takeover from shareholder Haier, fell 0.4 per cent to $1.26. The Chinese bidder, which is offering $1.28 per share, today announced it now controls 54 per cent of FPA.
Telecom, the country's biggest phone company and most traded stock, fell 0.2 per cent to $2.48.
NZ Refining, the operator of New Zealand's only oil refinery, rose 2.2 per cent to $2.82, leading gainers at the open.
Guinness Peat Group, which today announced it had realised 50 per cent of the volume and value of its portfolio, rose 1.8 per cent to 58c. The firm said it will adopt the name of its subsidiary Coates when that is the sole remaining asset on its books.
- © Fairfax NZ News