The sharemarket closed slightly lower today, reversing early modest gains as investors tried to assess the impact of a bio-security event in the kiwifruit industry.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 2.763 points, or 0.083 per cent, at 3316.396.

Trading in Satara and Seeka Kiwifruit Industries shares was halted pending an announcement. Satara said late today that a probable incidence of a bacterial kiwifruit vine disease known as Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae was reported on Friday.

It was not known what impact PSA would have on the kiwifruit industry if its presence here was confirmed. The trading halt was lifted on its shares after 5pm.

Turners & Growers shares were unchanged at 143 after it said there was no indication of this bacteria on any of its orchards or any orchards growing ENZA kiwifruit varieties. Precautions were being taken to mitigate any risk of spread.

"It is still early days. Investors are waiting for more news on the situation," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

Otherwise it was a quiet session and the New Zealand market had outperformed the Australian market, while markets in Asia were mixed.

Fletcher Building fell 3c to 813, Telecom rose a cent to 208 and Contact Energy rose 5c to 596.

SkyCity rose a cent on a day that there was speculation it has been trying to buy out interests in the Christchurch casino. Auckland Airport eased a cent on a day it disclosed moves to raise money in the US private placement market.

APN News rose 10c to 250 as it started marketing a $150 million corporate bond offer.

Michael Hill rose 3c to 80, Methven rose 5c to 183, and Port of Tauranga rose 3c to 746.

Cavalier Carpets rose 1c to 312, and Property for Industry rose a cent to 120.

Air NZ eased a cent to 136, Hallenstein Glassons eased a cent to 452 and Nuplex eased a cent to 346. Ebos eased 5c to 740.

Pharmacybrands rose 2c to 36, and Pacific Brands rose 6c to 146.

In the United States, stocks nudged higher for the day on Friday as they rose for a fifth straight week.

Investors took heart from Republican gains in the elections and on news that more cheap money from the Federal Reserve was on the way.

They locked in profits on Friday, offsetting an unexpectedly strong payrolls report that reinforced optimism about the economy.

"Because of these gains, I feel there's a relatively modest correction that's just around the corner," said King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.1 per cent at 11,444.08 for the day, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.4 per cent to 1225.84, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 2578.98.

- NZPA