Market makes timid start to week

The New Zealand sharemarket rose timidly in today's trading, in a mixed market PGG Wrightson led gainers while Fletcher Building fell.

The NZX Top 50 Index was up .46 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 4246.401 at the market's close.

Twenty-two stocks were up, 13 were down and 10 were unchanged.

Meanwhile, at 5pm the Kiwi dollar traded at US84.55, up marginally on the morning where it traded at around US84.53 while the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies recently traded at 76.14.

Fletcher Building led the decliners down 2.23 per cent to $9.19 followed by The Warehouse which fell 1.49 per cent to $3.30 and Metlifecare down 1.24 per cent to $3.19.

Tower fell 0.52 per cent to $1.92, SkyCity was down 0.51 per cent to $3.92 and the NZX dropped 0.75 per cent to $1.33.

Rural services company PGG Wrightson led the gainers, up 4.65 per cent to 45 cents followed by New Zealand Oil and Gas up 2.7 per cent to 95 cents and Air New Zealand up 2.38 per cent to $1.29.

Contact Energy rose 1.15 per cent to $5.26, Steel and Tube was up 1.2 per cent to $2.52 and Heartland New Zealand also rose 1.49 per cent to 68 cents.

First New Zealand Capital's James Snell said the markets were reasonably quiet and a boost expected from strong overseas trading on Friday had failed to materialise.

Fletcher Builder's fall was attributed to early profit taking as investors looked to cash out on Fletcher's over $9 share price but the country's biggest building firm may have also suffered at the hands of Australia's falling building permits, Snell said.

Snell expected the truncated trading week to remain quiet with investors and analysts waiting for earnings season to get into full swing both here and across the ditch in the next week weeks.

On the crosses at 5pm the New Zealand dollar traded at 81.08 Australian cents and the dollar rose to 78.44 Japanese yen from 78.47 this morning. The kiwi rose to 62.02 euro from 61.83 this morning, and was also down to 53.85 pence from 53.95 earlier.

The 90 Day Bank Bill rate was 2.69 per cent