Diligent and Xero shine in quiet trading
The New Zealand sharemarket rose slightly today as investors awaited US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's speech overnight.
The NZX 50 rose 1.52 points to 3468.86.
Craigs Investment Partners adviser Greg Easton said trading was modest. Most of the trading attention was on Diligent and Xero, which both gained.
"Xero hit new all-time highs although on pretty small volumes," Easton said. "They've continued their string of announcements, the latest being a new partnership with a US payroll provider.
"Diligent have just released a quarterly update continuing their stratospheric growth in sales."
Xero rose 8.6 per cent to $5.70 and Diligent Board Member Services was up 2 per cent to $4.00.
"Investors are still very tentative and cautious, looking for catalysts but really not getting too much."
OceanaGold rose 4.2 per cent to $2.50. Would-be bank Heartland was up 3.8 per cent to 55c. Australian wealth manager AMP rose 3.3 per cent to $5.06.
Casino and hotel operator SkyCity Entertainment was up 1.4 per cent to $3.55. Australian phone company Telstra rose 1.4 per cent to $5.00.
Industrial chemicals and resins maker Nuplex led the declining stocks with a 2.35 per cent fall to $2.49. Ryman Healthcare, the retirement villages operator and developer, fell 2.2 per cent to $3.52.
International trucking and logistics company Mainfreight fell 1.9 per cent to $9.20. New Zealand Refining fell 1.8 per cent to $2.21.
Retailer The Warehouse was down 1.55 per cent to $2.54. Freightways fell 1.3 per cent to $3.75.
Vital Healthcare fell 1.2 per cent to $1.23. Chorus was down 0.95 per cent to $3.13.
The Australian sharemarket closed higher, boosted by commentary from the Reserve Bank of Australia that there were positive signs for the economy.
The S&P/ASX200 gained 35.7 points to 4140.8 and the All Ordinaries 32.1 points to 4175.3.
City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho said commentary from the Reserve Bank of Australia had encouraged investors.
There was also strong support developing among overseas investors for Australia's big banks.
Mr Esho said minutes from the RBA's July board meeting, made public yesterday, showed that recent interest rate cuts and signs of an improving economy were behind its decision to keep the cash rate at 3.5 per cent.
The RBA said in the minutes that the Australian economy had more momentum than had earlier been indicated.
"I think sentiment will start to improve over the next few months and the RBA will be less trigger- happy [less inclined to reduce the cash rate]," Mr Esho said.
Global miner BHP Billiton firmed A2c to A$30.79 and rival Rio Tinto eased A5c to A$54.44 despite achieving record first half iron ore production and sales.
Westpac rose A34c to A$22.50, ANZ was A39c higher at A$22.87, National Australia Bank gained A20c to A$23.70, and Com- monwealth Bank rose A84c to A$54.90.
Gold was trading at US$1592.90 an ounce.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei gained 30.88 points to 8755.
In New York, the Dow fell 50 points, or 0.4 per cent, to close at 12,727. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell three points to 1354 and the Nasdaq fell nearly 12 points to 2897.
In London, the FTSE 100 fell 3.70 points to 5662.43. Agencies
The Dominion Post