4 Nov 2009

NZ sharemarket edges down in early trading

2:05 pm on 4 November 2009

The New Zealand sharemarket edged down in Wednesday morning trading.

The benchmark NZX 50 index slid 5 points, or 0.1% to 31 54.

Fletcher Building was down 8 cents to $8.03, Telecom rose 1 cent to $2.51 and Contact Energy fell 5 cents to $6.05.

Sky City Entertainment was up 2 cents to $3.38.

Air New Zealand fell 1 cent to $1.29, a day after announcing it was buying 14 new Airbus A320 planes to replace its Boeing 737-300s.

Infratil rose 1 cent to $1.60 after saying it and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund are in negotiations to buy some of Shell's assets.

New Zealand Refining fell 8 cents to $5.03

Westpac was 35 cents to $32.35.

In currency markets, the NZ dollar was buying 72.25 US cents, 79.89 Australian, 43.95 pence, 65.22 yen, 0.4902 euro. The TWI stood at 65.11.

Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 index was up 22 points, or 0.5%, to 4555 in early trading.

US, Europe

Stocks on Wall Street ended mixed after Morgan Stanley downgraded the semiconductor sector and news of a major railroad acquisition.

Losses were limited as Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to buy Burlington Northern in a deal that values the railroad company at $US34 billion.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 17.53 points, or 0.18%, to end at 9,771.91.

But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 2.53 points, or 0.24%, to finish at 1,045.41.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.12 points, or 0.40%, to close at 2,057.32.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 fell 1.3 percent, Paris' CAC 40 was down 1.5% and Frankfurt's DAX fell 1.4%.