31 Dec 2009

NZ sharemarket closes lower

6:05 am on 31 December 2009

The New Zealand sharemarket closed lower on Wednesday, with the benchmark NZX 50 down more than four points (0.13%) to 3220.9 at close of trade.

The Australian share market closed slightly lower on Wednesday as investors took profits on another quiet day during the holiday period.

At the 1615 AEDT close, the S&P/ASX200 index had fallen 11.8 points, or 0.24%, to 4833.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had dipped 9.7 points, or 0.2%, to 4,847 points.

Japan dragged down by national airline worries

Japan's Nikkei average booked a 19% gain in 2009, with shares of high-tech exporters leading a rebound rally on a weaker yen and as economic stimulus measures helped turn around the world economy.

The benchmark's yearly climb followed a 42% plunge - the biggest loss in its 58-year history - in 2008 when investors saw the global financial crisis take a heavy toll on risky assets, including stocks.

On the Tokyo stock market's final trading day of the year on Wednesday, the Nikkei ended down 0.9%, dragged lower by bankruptcy worries about Japan Airlines (JAL).