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Modest Early Gain On NZ Sharemarket

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 8 NZPA - Surging share prices in the United States translated into only a minor gain in this country when the New Zealand sharemarket opened for the week.

After eight successive trading days of gains, the benchmark NZX-50 was up 3.23 points to 3217.87 around 10.15am, just off the six-week high reached during Friday's trading.

Fletcher Building dominated the board early, gaining 6c to 816, after slipping 2c on Friday. Steel & Tube lifted 5c to 269, Air NZ was up 2c to 133, and Rakon lifted 2c to 105.

Restaurant Brands shares continued to retreat from the highest level in nearly eight years, 203, reached on Thursday. In early trading today they were down 2c to 191, while Tower also lost 2c, to 197.

In the US stocks jumped on Friday (local time), with the Nasdaq hitting an 18-month closing high as US employers cut fewer jobs than expected last month and consumers showed signs of shedding their penny-pinching ways.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.2 percent to end at 10,566.20, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 1.4 percent to 1138.70, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.5 percent to 2326.35.

The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at their highest levels in six weeks. All three indexes are now positive for the year.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.3 percent, the Nasdaq added 3.9 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 3.1 percent.

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