22 Aug 2008

NZ market down, Australia up

6:31 pm on 22 August 2008

The NZX 50 index was down 20 points to 3311 on turnover of $82 million.

Market heavyweights Telecom was down 5 cents to $3.23, Contact Energy dropped 18c at $8.42 and Fletcher Building rose 4c at $7.20.

Michael Hill International was up 4c to 95c after saying it'll spend $7 m expanding into the US.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare improved 13c after forecasting a 38%rise in first-half profit to the end of September.

Port of Tauranga was up 5c at $7.10 after saying it'll expand its container operation to meet steadily increasing demand for cargo.

Turners Auctions unchanged at 85c after its half year profit rose 55% to $812,000.

Auckland International Airport was unchanged at $2.01 after underlying profit rose 3% to $113m in the year to June on Thursday.

Mainfreight fell 2c to $7.10 after profit rose 40% to $8.2m in the June quarter.

New Zealand Oil and Gas rose 5c to $1.51 but The Warehouse was down 4c to $3.45.

In currency markets, the kiwi's trading at 71.87 US cents, 81.73 Australian, 38.33 pence, 78.31 Yen, and 0.4831 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stands at 66.54.

Australian market rises

The 200 index closed firmly in the black, driven by the resources sector after the commodities index recorded its biggest weekly gain in 33 years.

It was up 56.2 points, or 1.15%, to 4,931.4, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 60.6 points, or 1.22%, to 5,010.2.

The September share price index futures contract was 58 points higher at 4,902 on volume of 21,409 contracts.

DJ Carmichael resource analyst James Wilson says prices for key commodities, including nickel, tin and copper, had gained between 3 and 8%.

Asian markets

Asian stocks slipped to a two-year low on Friday, falling for a fourth straight week, as a surge in oil prices to above $121 knocked the US dollar and the spiralling financial crisis showed no signs of ending.

Crude prices have been driven up 6.5% this week on escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter.

Morning trade on Hong Kong's financial markets was cancelled on Friday due to Typhoon Nuri.

Japanese shares touched a near five-month low in morning trade on Friday.

The Nikkei-225 index was down 85.50 points or 0.67% to 12,666.71 by the lunch break.

At one point it fell to as low as 12,631.94 points, a level not seen since April 1.