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Firm start to week for NZ sharemarket

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 18 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket had a firm start to the week, as leading shares Fletcher Building and Telecom made early gains.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 6.05 points to 3261.89, having ended down 6.8 points on Friday.

Fletcher Building shares were up 4c early to 839, having ended down 3c on Friday after it was announced that subsidiary Fletcher Construction will manage building repairs for 50,000 houses damaged in the Canterbury earthquake.

Telecom gained 2c early today to 209, while another leading stock, Contact Energy, was unchanged on 567.

The Warehouse was up 3c to 393, Ebos Group gained 3c to 698, and NZ Refining Co lifted 2c to 365, while Trustpower lost 2c to 730.

In the US on Friday (local time), a surging quarter from Google sent the Nasdaq Composite Index up over 1 percent, while uncertainty surrounding major banks' exposure to foreclosure losses dragged the Dow Jones industrial average lower.

General Electric's poor quarterly revenues underscored the economy's soft spots, and it was the Dow's biggest percentage loser with a 5.1 percent drop.

The Dow dropped 0.3 percent to 11,062.78, the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.2 percent to 1176.19, and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 percent to 2468.77.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.8 percent.

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