New Zealand share market opened slightly higher on Friday, holding on to the positive momentum attained in the previous session after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand slashed interest rates.
The marginally higher opening came despite a mixed overnight lead from the Wall Street, where U.S. stocks moved modestly lower after word that Number 3 American car maker Chrysler would file for bankruptcy, and reorganize with Italy's Fiat.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 7.79 points or 0.28% to 2,748.37 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 4.96 points or 0.18% to 2,799.72.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's decision to slash interest rates by 50 basis points helped send New Zealand stocks sharply higher on Thursday. At the close, the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 40.87 points or 1.5 percent at 2,740.6. Trading volume was reported by the New Zealand Stock Exchange as 67.2 million shares valued at NZ$153.9 million.
Overseas, the U.S. markets moved lower on Thursday after seeing considerable early strength as traders reacted to news that auto giant Chrysler has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The major U.S. averages eventually ended the day mixed.
President Barack Obama revealed that Chrysler would file for bankruptcy in remarks at the White House earlier in the day, adding that the company has reached an agreement to form a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat.
He noted that the government would provide nearly $3.5 billion to keep the company somewhat functioning while the filing takes place and an additional $4.7 billion once Fiat takes over.
The strength seen in morning trading came as traders reacted positively to the latest batch of earnings and economic news, including a report from the Labor Department showing a notable decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 25th.
The major U.S. averages finished the day mixed, with the Nasdaq posting a modest gain. While the Nasdaq closed up 5.36 points or 0.3 percent at 1,717.30, the Dow closed down 17.61 points or 0.2 percent at 8,168.12 and the S&P 500 closed down 0.83 points or 0.1 percent at 872.81.
Crude oil closed a choppy session modestly lower on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange amid continuing demand concerns as traders considered a full slate of economic and corporate reports.
Light sweet crude oil for June delivery ended the day at $50.56, down 41 cents on the session. Prices fell as low as $50.21 earlier in the session after earlier hitting as high as $51.94.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US56.55c by 8am on Friday, little changed from its level at 5pm on Thursday. During the night the kiwi had touched US57.50c around 8pm, declined since then.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom and second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged, as Fletcher Building, the third best stock, slipped 0.75%.
In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson gained 1.56% and Pumpkin Patch added 1.67%, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Warehouse remained unchanged.
In the energy sector, Vector remained unchanged, as TrustPower advanced 0.42% in the early trading on Friday morning.
Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged, as Lion Nathan gave up 0.07%.
Among other notable stocks, Infratil remained unchanged, as Mainfreight added 1.32%, Methven collected 0.94%, Nuplex jumped 2.78%, Sky City advanced 0.73 , Sky Network Television climbed 1.47% and Steel & Tube Holdings surged 4.90%. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare lost 0.33%, as Fisher & Paykel Appliances added 2.17%.
The other losers in the early trading on Friday were- Auckland International Airport by 0.60%, Air New Zealand by 0.95%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.72%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.58%, Tourism Holdings Limited by 2.04% and Tower by 1.47%.
Major gainers in the early trading included AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.25%, Ebos Group by 1.44%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.25%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.33%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 2.73%, ING Property Trust by 3.57%, NZ Farming Systems by 1.82%, PGG Wrightson by 1.48%, and Skellerup Holdings by 1.92%.
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