22 Dec 2009

NZX ends slightly higher

9:53 pm on 22 December 2009

On New Zealand's sharemarket, the benchmark NZX 50 index rose 29 points, or 0.9%, to close at 3179 on turnover of $34 million on Tuesday.

Fletcher Building was up 11 cents to $7.81, Telecom up 1 cent to $2.45, and Contact Energy up 5 cents to $6.07.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 4 cents to $3.36, Sky City Entertainment up 1 cent to $3.26, and Sky Network Television up 9 cents to $5.05.

NZX was down 64 cents to $2.31 after splitting its shares, New Zealand Oil and Gas up 1 cent at $1.66, The Warehouse up 13 cents to $4.20, and AMP down 25 cents to $8.05.

Infratil was up 3 cents to $1.66 and Allied Farmers up 0.1 cent to 10.9 cents.

In currency markets, at 5.09pm the NZ dollar was at 70.35 US cents, 80.05 Australian cents, 43.77 pence, 64.21 yen and 0.4918 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stands at 64.51.

Aust stocks lift

The Australian sharemarket closed up more than 1%, buoyed by banking stocks and the big miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 69.1 points, or 1.49%, at 4704.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 64.9 points, or 1.39%, to 4724.4.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange at 1615 AEDT, the March share price index contract was 62 points higher at 4683 on 18,065 contracts.

Banking stocks were led by Westpac, which gained 80 cents, 3.43%, to $A24.15. National Australia Bank gained 31 cents to be $A26.31, ANZ rose 52 cents to $A21.47, Commonwealth Bank put on 44 cents to be $A52.59 and Macquarie Group rose 89 cents to $A46.71.

The big miners rose, with BHP Billiton up 70 cents to $A41.65 and rival Rio Tinto up $A2.18 to $A72.75.

At 1625 AEDT the local spot price of gold was $US1093.10 per fine ounce, down $US19.18 on Monday's closing price of $US1,112.28.

Major energy stocks rose, with Woodside Petroleum up 12 cents to $A47.27 and rival Oil Search gained 3 cents to $A5.90. Santos rose 10 cents to $A13.91 and Origin Energy put on 30 cents to $A16.52.

Among media companies, News Corp rose 42 cents to $A17.89 and its non-voting scrip gained 50 cents to $15.39. Fairfax gained 5.5 cents to $A1.665 and Consolidated Media put on 1 cent to $A3.09.

Among retail stocks, Coles owner Wesfarmers gained 23 cents to $A29.10, while Woolworths rose 45 cents to $A27.14. Upmarket retailer David Jones gained 2 cents to $A5.35, while rival Myer rose 2 cents to $A3.70.

At 1647 AEDT, the top-traded stock by volume was animal healthcare company Monitor Energy, with 270.4 million shares worth $A1.28 million changing hands. Its shares were down 0.1 cents, or 16.67%, to 0.5 cents.

Preliminary national turnover was 1.76 billion shares worth $A3.32 billion, with 578 stocks up, 442 down and 357 unchanged.

Japan stocks higher

Japanese stocks closed up 1.91% on Tuesday, striking the highest level in about three months as investors cheered gains on Wall Street and a weaker yen, which is good for exporters.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 194.56 points to 10,378.03, the best finish since September 24. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares added 11.58 points, or 1.30%, to 903.06.