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Moderate Early Rise For NZ Sharemarket

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 8 NZPA - After its 1.4 percent dive on Friday, the New Zealand sharemarket started the new week with modest gains as Fletcher Building shares made up a little of the ground lost in recent weeks.

Around 8.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 5.77 points to 3110.77, after losing nearly 44 points on Friday in the wake of a global equity rout. It is now two months since the market's recent peak around 3313 points.

Today's small gains on the NZX came after stocks in the United States ended slightly higher on Friday (local time), erasing losses earlier in the day.

Fletcher Building shares gained 6c in early trade today to 758 after losing 18c on Friday. Telecom shares edged up 2c from Friday's 10-month low to 233 early

Retailer Hallenstein Glasson gained 9c to 364, The Warehouse lifted 3c to 378, Steel & Tube was up 3c to 283, and Sky TV gained 3c to 480.

Among stocks to lose a cent early, Auckland Airport was down to 194, Air NZ down to 129, Fisher & Paykel Appliances to 58, and Infratil to 161. Turners & Growers lost 15c, or nearly 10 percent, early to 140. Dual-listed bank ANZ was up 55c early to 2670.

In the US on Friday, stocks erased a midday drop to end slightly higher, closing out a volatile week punctuated by mixed signals from the labour market data and growing anxiety over fiscal problems in Europe.

Major indexes turned positive heading into the close, as investors scooped up shares in the technology and materials sectors - two of the worst performers during the market's latest pullback.

US employers unexpectedly cut 20,000 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate dropped to a five-month low of 9.7 percent, the Labor Department reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.1 percent at 10,012.23, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ended up 0.3 percent at 1066.19, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to close at 2141.12.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.6 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.3 percent, marking their fourth consecutive weekly drop.

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