15 Jul 2009

NZ sharemarket modest, Australia reaches year's highest

9:16 pm on 15 July 2009

The NZX 50 index rose 15.58 points, or 0.57%, to close at 2764 on turnover of $70 million, on Wednesday.

Telecom was down 2 cents at $2.64, Fletcher Building up 7 cents to $6.67 and Contact Energy up 5 cents at $5.80.

Air New Zealand was unchanged at 86 cents.

Sky City Entertainment Group was up 4 cents to $2.69.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 3 cents to $2.85.

In currency markets abut 5pm, the NZ dollar was at 64.05 US cents, 80.7 Australian cents, 39.25 pence, 59.89 yen and 0.458 euro. The TWI stood at 6047.

Australia gains

Resources and banking stocks drove the Australian share market to its highest close this financial year.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 57.4 points, or 1.48%, at 3924.5 points, the highest point since 30 June, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 58.7 points, or 1.52%, to 3917.5 points.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index contract was up 41 points at 3,888 on volume of 26,768 contracts.

Japan flat

Japan's Nikkei average was flat on on Wednesday, giving up earlier gains made on upbeat results from Goldman Sachs and Intel after investors grew cautious ahead of more earnings in the United States and Japan.

The Bank of Japan extended its corporate funding support measures beyond their planned expiry in September, and it kept interest rates on hold. The impact was limited as the moves were within expectations.

The benchmark Nikkei edged up 7.44 points to 9,269.25, after rising as much as 0.8% at one stage. It fell to an eight-week low of 9,050.33 on Monday after climbing to a six-month high of 10,170.82 in mid-June.

The broader Topix fell 0.3% to 866.37.