23 Jul 2009

NZ sharemarket makes slight gain

9:20 pm on 23 July 2009

The New Zealand market inched higher by the close of trade on Thursday.

The benchmark index was up 18 points, or 0.62%, to 2918 on turnover of $82 million.

Top stocks were mixed. Telecom was down 2 cents at $2.81, Contact Energy fell 7c to $6.01, but Fletcher Building gained 24c to $7.14.

Auckland International Airport rose 3c to $1.64 after saying it is to take a 20% stake in a new $65 million four-star hotel planned at the airport. Air New Zealand rose 3c to 98c.

PGG Wrightson shares fell 4c to 94c after announcing the resignation of chairman Craig Norgate. He will stay on as a director.

The Australian share market closed flat on Thursday after falling bank stocks ended the market's rally this week and investment bank Macquarie Group and Macquarie Airports went into a trading halt.

At the 1615 AEST close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.4 points, or 0.11%, at 4,064.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 3.7 points, or 0.09%, to 4,072.6 points.

Japanese share prices closed 0.72% higher, extending a rebound to a seventh straight day as hopes grew for a recovery in battered corporate earnings.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index rose 69.78 points to 9,792.94. The broader Topix index of all first section shares climbed 2.11 points, or 0.23%, to 908.69.

Hong Kong share prices closed 2.96% up, on ample liquidity supported by loosening monetary policy from the United States and China, dealers said. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 569.53 points at 19,817.70.