11 Sep 2013

Sharemarket "marking time" after reporting season

7:02 pm on 11 September 2013

The sharemarket was little changed on Wednesday, the benchmark Top 50 index gaining just 7 points to 4635.

First NZ Capital client advisor Don Lewthwaite says the market is marking time after the reporting season and looking for fresh direction from offshore.

He says Xero was stronger and getting back to its all-time highs.

Xero gained 35 cents to $18.40, not far below its record at $18.90 reached back in July.

Sky Network Television fell 7 cents to $5.70 and Contact Energy eased 1 cent to $5.15.

Port of Tauranga sank 42 cents, or almost 3%, to $14.00 after falling 3% on Tuesday.

Mr Lewthwaite says it's ongoing fall-out from the port's subsidiary losing its marshalling contract.

The port bought Quality Marshalling in February for $34 million.

On Tuesday, it said the log marshalling contract at Mount Maunganui and Murupara, which accounts for about 60% of Quality Marshalling's revenue, will cease from 1 January next year.

The New Zealand dollar was also sitting in a holding pattern ahead of the Reserve Bank's decision on interest rates at 9am on Thursday.

ASB Bank head of external foreign exchange sales Tim Kelleher says all eyes will be on what the Reserve Bank governor, Graeme Wheeler, has to say.

Around 5.15pm, the currency was trading at 80.38 US cents compared with 80.44 cents at that time on Tuesday, similarly almost steady at 86.60 Australian cents, 51.11 British pence and exactly the same at 60.63 euro.

The kiwi did, however, climb about half a yen to 80.77 yen.