14 Apr 2009

NZ, Australian sharemarkets up at close

9:54 pm on 14 April 2009

New Zealand and Australian sharemarkets were up at close of trading on Tuesday, but the Dow Jones dipped overnight and Japan's Nikkei index followed suit.

The NZX 50 index rose 29 points to close at 2600 on turnover of $89 million. Telecom was up 1 cent at $2.37, Fletcher Building up 32c at $6.52 and Contact Energy down 13c at $5.62.

Among other stocks, Sky Television rose 5c to $3.95 and the Warehouse 8c to $3.41.

Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 index went up 99 points to 3770 on the back of stronger banking and resources stocks, with a sharp fall and recovery in Qantas stock one of the session's highlights.

Qantas, which slashed its annual pre-tax profit forecast and flagged more job cuts after a rapid decline in trading conditions, closed 4c higher at $2 after earlier plunging to an intra-day low of $1.74.

In currency markets the NZ dollar was at 59.1 US cents, 81.06 Australian, 39.62 pence, 58.94 yen, and .4422 euro. The TWI stood at 58.45.

On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 25.57, or 0.32%, to 8057.81.

Japanese share prices finished 0.92% lower on Tuesday, depressed by overnight losses on Wall Street where investors turned cautious ahead of a raft of corporate earnings results.

The Nikkei-225 index fell 81.75 points to close at 8842.68.

Many financial centres were closed in Europe and parts of Asia for Easter.