Positive results temper overseas share falls
The New Zealand share market was mixed in morning trade, with a scattering of positive company results offset by gloomy risk sentiment filtering through from tumbling overseas equity markets.
The NZX 50 Index was almost unchanged in the first 30 minutes of trade, up 0.95 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,171.38. Ten stocks rose, and 12 fell.
This morning Telecom announced an interim profit of $163 million on revenues of $2.135 billion.
The country's largest phone company also reduced its full year Ebidta forecast, saying the broadband market had become more competitive than expected. Investors took the news well, pushing the stock up 1.1 per cent to $2.23.
Metlifecare reported a net profit of $87.1m for the six months to December. Excluding the impact of its merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care Holdings, its profit was $23.5m, up from $7.4m previously.
The retirement village operator edged up 1c on the news to $3.12.
OceanaGold led gainers, recovering 5.4 per cent to $2.75 as investors piled back into the stock following a big sell-off yesterday.
Industrial chemicals and resins manufacturer Nuplex Industries also recovered 1.5 per cent to $3.38.
Meanwhile, global commodities and equity markets plunged overnight on a slew of poor economic data out of the US and Europe.
Uncertainty over the weekend's elections in Italy, where controversial former PM Silvio Berlusconi may stage a comeback, also helped push the Euro STOXX 50 index down 2.3 percent to 2,580,20, a new low for the year.
Belt-tightening in China, where the government drained a record amount of cash out of the economy over the week, also saw major Asian indices shed more than 2 per cent.
PGG Wrightson led decliners on the local bourse. The rural services supply company fell 2.3 per cent to 43c.
Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch fell 1.4 per cent to $1.37. Westpac Banking Corp, the Australian lender, fell 1.3 per cent to $35.73.
Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare fell 1.1 per cent to $4.55.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust eased 0.4 per cent to $1.26. The specialist investor in medical clinic real estate has announced a net profit of $14.6 million, up 180 percent, for the six months ended in December.