13 Mar 2014

Sharemarket flat on Thursday

1:00 pm on 13 March 2014

A flat day on the market saw the benchmark Top 50 Index close down 5 points to 5096 on Thursday.

Harbour Asset Management research analyst Craig Stent says investors are likely to be digesting the results season which has just finished.

He says there have been mixed performance - Auckland Airport, Telecom and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare were all up, as was the listed property sector, but retailers like Kathmandu and the Warehouse were down.

Shares in Auckland International Airport closed up 8 cents to $3.89; Telecom shares closed up 1.5 cents to $2.45.

And Chorus shares also ended up 7 cents to $1.64 after the company announced on Tuesday beneficial changes to its contract to build about 70 percent of the ultrafast broadband network.

While Kathmandu shares closed down 5 cents to $3.55, shares in the Warehouse fell 3 cents to $3.24 and Fletcher Building shares ended down 16 cents to $9.53.

NZ dollar up against the Australian

The dollar jumped about half a cent against the Australian dollar and was slightly weaker against the other major currencies.

ANZ senior foreign exchange strategist Sam Tuck says a trading halt on the shares of a Chinese electrical company has spooked investors in the Australian dollar.

He says the Chinese company will possibly become the second default for a Chinese corporate in the last seven business days, and this has weighed on sentiment around the Australian dollar - but New Zealand's remains fairly unaffected.

The Reserve Bank is expected to raise its official cash rate on Thursday from 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent.

About 5pm on Wednesday, the Kiwi was trading at 94.47 Australian cents compared with 93.93 cents at that time on Tuesday.

It was trading at 84.67 US cents, 50.91 British pence, 0.6109 euro and 87.20 yen.