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Fletcher Building, NZX Index Gain On Recovery Optimism

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 17 NZPA - A 4.2 percent rise in the price of Fletcher Building shares helped the New Zealand sharemarket rise 0.76 percent today as the reporting season ramped up.

The NZX-50 benchmark index closed up 23.453 points at 3111.06, at a time that the Australian market up 2.2 percent and other Asian markets were also strong.

Turnover was worth $176.3 million and was boosted by large volume in Telstra and Fletcher Building. There were 55 rises and 27 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

"Australia is having a fantastic day and that is rubbing off to some degree on the New Zealand market," Grant Williamson, director of Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

Fletcher Building rose 32c to 796 after reporting a 10 percent fall in interim profit.

"It beat market expectations. I think the result shows the diverse nature of the company now. Even though the steel division had weak earnings other divisions performed quite well," said Mr Williamson.

"People were more than happy with the forward comments."

Opus rose 15c to 180 after saying it performed well in a challenging year.

ING Medical Property Trust rose 1c to 117 after reporting a 15.3 percent rise in interim operating profit.

Tenon was unchanged at 84 on a day in which it reported operating earnings of $US5m ($NZ7m).

PGG Wrightson rose 1c to 59 with news today that its finance company has a BB rating. Fisher & Paykel Appliance's finance company also secured a BB rating. Fisher & Paykel Appliances was unchanged at 63.

Contact Energy rose 3c to 564 on a day in which it reported higher customer numbers.

Telecom rose 1c to 234, Auckland Airport rose 1c to 184 and NZOG rose 2c to 152. Sanford fell 5c to 460.

NZ Experience was untraded after reporting a $572,000 interim profit, slightly down on last year.

Mainfreight rose 4c to 580 and Freightways rose 1c to 310.

The Warehouse fell 3c to 375 and SkyTV fell 3c to 467.

US stocks posted their biggest daily percentage gain in three months on Tuesday after strong revenue from drugmaker Merck and regional manufacturing data instilled confidence in the economic outlook.

Resource-related shares were among the strongest gainers as a weaker US dollar sparked buying in oil and other commodities.

"Earnings have been strong and people are starting to believe the recovery we're seeing in the economy is real," said Angel Mata, managing director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.

The S&P resumed weekly gains last Friday after four consecutive weeks of declines, which were triggered in part by fiscal weakness in Greece and other euro zone countries as well as uncertainty about China's moves to curb bank lending.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 169.67 points, or 1.68 percent, to 10,268.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 19.36 points, or 1.80 percent, to 1094.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 30.66 points, or 1.40 percent, to 2214.19.

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