26 Nov 2008

Mixed trading day for Asia-Pacific markets

9:12 pm on 26 November 2008

Stocks in Japan and Australia fell on Wednesday after a report showed the US economy shrank by the most since 2001, underscoring sharply slowing global demand. The NZX 50 bucked the trend and was higher at the close of trade.

Wall Street stocks rallied on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve unveiled a $US800 billion effort to heal the American mortgage market and to aid consumer lending, with Washington racking up a staggering $US8.3 trillion bill to rescue companies and keep the financial system from collapsing.

Japan's Nikkei stock index closed down 1.33%, losing 110.71 points to end at 8,213.33. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up about 2.5%.

The Australian share market closed about 2.5% weaker despite gains in resource giant BHP Billiton and the positive result from Wall Street.

At 1615 AEDT close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 83.4 points, or 2.3%, at 3540.0, while the broader All Ordinaries dropped 95.8 points, or 2.68% to 3479.6.

The New Zealand share market rallied slightly, up 3 points at the close to 2638 on turnover of $70 million.

Telecom was up 8 cents to $2.36 and Contact Energy rose 12c to $6.74.

Fletcher Building slid 11c to $5.57 after cancelling plans to buy Fielders Australia. Nuplex fell 42c to $3.40 after issuing a profit warning on Tuesday.

Sanford was down 5c to $5.35 after its full-year profit more than doubled to $53.3 million due to high fish prices and asset sales.

ING Property Trust was down 1c to 62c after operating earnings rose 9% to $39.4 million.