12 Sep 2008

NZ market finishes week higher

9:19 pm on 12 September 2008

The New Zealand sharemarket was up 26 points to 3360 at the close of trade on Friday.

Turnover on the NZX 50 was $81 million. Telecom was down 4 cents at $2.97 while fellow top stocks Contact Energy rose 18c to $9.01 and Fletcher Building was up 30c to $7.65.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up 4c at $1.81, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 8c higher at $3.78, and Rakon was up 3c to $2.78 on the back of a lower NZ dollar.

The Warehouse rose 7c to $3.28 after reporting a 17% underlying increase in profit to $80.9 million, better than earlier forecasts.

Auckland International Airport was down 1c to $2.03, while Air New Zealand rose 2c to $1.09.

Sky City Entertainment Group was up 3c to $3.73 after announcing new appointments to its board.

At 5.20pm on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 65.37 US cents, 81.41 Australian, 37.17 pence, 70.12 yen and 0.4673 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stood at 62.71.

Australian market strong

The Australian share market snapped a three-day losing streak to close in strongly positive territory on Friday after a strong lead from Wall Street on news of a rescue for embattled investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 89.5 points, or 1.86%, to 4,903.8, while the broader All Ordinaries added 85.6 points, or 1.76% to 4,957.1.

At 1615 AEST, the September share price index futures contract was up 72 points to 4,907 on volume of 32,212 contracts.

At 1621 AEST, spot gold in Sydney was trading at $US751.50 an ounce, down $US3.90 on Thursday's close of $US755.40.

Asian markets

Japanese share prices closed up 0.93% on Friday, overcoming early losses on rising hopes that a suitor will rescue ailing US investment bank Lehman Brothers, dealers said.

The market brushed aside news that Japan's economy contracted by the most in nearly seven years last quarter, as the data was not as bad as economists had feared.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index closed up 112.26 points to 12,214.76 ahead of a three-day holiday weekend in Japan.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 14.48 points or 1.25% to 1,177.20.

Hong Kong share prices closed down 0.2%, as weakness in China banks offset earlier gains in property developers and energy firms, dealers said.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index plunged 35.82 points to 19,352.90. Turnover was 57.77 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Wall St up

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 164.79 points on the day, or 1.46% to 11,433.71, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 lifted 17.01 points, or 1.38%, to 1,249.05. The Nasdaq rose 29.52 points, or 1.32%, to 2,258.22.

At 1215 AEST, spot gold in Sydney was trading at $US750.05 an ounce, slipping $US5.35 on Thursday's close of $US755.40.