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New Zealand Sharemarket Posts Modest Gains

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 4 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket ended higher today with the help of a strong performance from leader Fletcher Building.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 6.572 points, or 0.218 percent, at 3098.322. Turnover was worth $96.55 million and included $19m worth of Tesltra shares.

There were 51 rises and 27 falls among the 108 stocks traded.

Fletcher Building shares gained 17c to 786 on top of an 11c rise yesterday after Australia posted strong growth data this week and as reports of a strong local property market continue to flow.

Telecom eased 1c to 279 and Contact fell 3c to 615.

"Fletcher Building went up because there is more talk of New Zealand being out of recession and Australia has been doing very well," Stephen Wright at ASB Securities said.

It was one of the stocks that had the most to gain from better performing Australasian economies, he said.

Otherwise investors are holding onto shares while dividends from the reporting season are payable. A number of companies go ex-dividend, or trade without a dividend payment pending, on Monday.

Hellaby rose 10c to 150, NZ Farming Systems rose 2c to 50 and Tourism Holdings rose 2c to 57.

Michael Hill rose 2c to 73 and Freightways rose 4c to 297.

NZOG rose 3c to 162.

Fisher and Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 75 and the healthcare stock fell 1c to 345.

Sanford rose 5c to 510 and Port of Tauranga rose 6c to 656.

The Warehouse rose 3c to 396 ahead of its annual profit report next week and Briscoes rose 3c to 118 ahead of its interim report next week.

Auckland Airport, which announced board appointments today, fell 2c to 81 and Air NZ fell 1c to 123.

Guinness Peat Group, which announced a change of management at its Coats subsidiary, fell 1c to 81. SkyTV fell 4c to 446 and NZ Refining fell 5c to 495.

SkyCity fell 2c to 326 and Tower fell 1c to 159.

Dorchester rose 2.9c to 17, which above the level The Bakery bought in at. Abano Healthcare rose 10c to 675.

In the United States, investors moved back into stocks after a four-day slide as they awaited a key US government report on unemployment due tonight (NZ time).

Sales reports from US retailers revealed that while some consumers are starting to open their wallets, most remain focused on necessities.

Trading in the US has been jittery in the past two weeks because some investors who have placed big bets on a recovery are worried that the economy will have trouble pulling out of the longest recession since World War 2.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7 percent to 9344.61, the S&P 500 index rose 0.9 percent to 1003.24, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.8 percent to 1983.20.

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