18 Sep 2009

NZ market rises, stocks elsewhere decline

9:02 pm on 18 September 2009

New Zealand's benchmark NZX Top 50 share index rose 3 points, or 0.1%, on Friday, to close at 3156 on turnover of $117 million.

In currency markets, at 5.20pm the NZ dollar was at 70.83 US cents, 81.56 Australian cents, 43.33 pence, 64.72 yen, and 0.4821 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stood at 64.61.

Elsewhere, the ABC reported that investors had a cautious session, and stocks dropped for the first time in four days. Wall Street had a soft session on Thursday, Australia's sharemarket followed a soft session on Wall Street, with the All Ordinaries index closing 20 points lower at 4694 and the ASX 200 down 22 points at 4693.

BHP Billiton was down 89 cents at $A38.70 in a bad session for the miners, despite Hunter Valley coal miners agreeing to a plan to improve the use of the biggest coal export port in Newcastle, which could double its capacity over the next six years.

Five directors of the Fairfax Media board issued a statement offering their unanimous support for the company's chairman, Ron Walker, after an outburst against him by the Fairfax family. Fairfax shares closed half a cent lower at $A1.71.

Australia's competition watchdog, the ACCC, has tried to clamp down on Woolworths and Coles' stranglehold on that country's supermarket sector. From now on, the two supermarket giants will not be allowed to include restrict shopping centre owners from leasing space to rival companies. Woolworths lost 17 cents to $A28.95 while Coles' owner, Wesfarmers, added 17 cents to $A26.28.

Around market close, West Texas crude oil was worth $US72.47 a barrel and a barrel of Tapis crude was worth $US72.92. Spot gold was fetching $US1,011 an ounce.