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NZ sharemarket closes higher but off best session peak

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 28 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started the day with a burst which fizzled out as the day progressed and a mixed bag of profit results were reported.

The strong start followed gains by global equities, as investor worry was eased after China rejected a report it was reviewing its euro-zone bond holdings due to the region's debt crisis.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 12.913 points, or 0.425 percent, at 3047.746. Turnover was worth $93.5 million. There were 56 rises and 27 falls among the 115 stocks traded.

Insurer and fund manager Tower gained 5c to 189, after saying it would pay its first interim dividend since 2002 as it reported a 28.8 percent rise to $27.7m in underlying half year profit.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances ended unchanged at 55 after saying its appliances business had recovered in the second half of the financial year, despite a continuation of difficult trading conditions in the United States. Full year normalised group profit after tax of $18m, was down from $33.8m the year before.

"The Fisher & Paykel result was better than their previous market guidance but they were cautious about profit guidance for the 2011 year," said Stephen Wright at ASB Securities.

"There was nothing to drive the share price on," he said.

He said Tower was a pretty under-rated company which had been doing well in recent years.

Fletcher Building rose 19c to 812 on a day in which the number of consents for new buildings showed an encouraging surge in April, but were still running at historically low levels.

Contact Energy ended down 5c at 587 after gained 8c in early trading.

Mainfreight, which reported earlier this week, rose 24c to 620. Sanford, which disappointed investors with its profit report this week, fell 2c to 425.

AMP rose 27 to 695 and AMP Office Trust rose 2c to 73.

NZX rose 5c to 165. NZOG rose 4c to 141 and NZ Refining rose 13c to 338.

TrustPower rose 10c to 725, Nuplex rose 2c to 302 and Auckland Airport rose 1c to 188.

SkyTV rose 5c to 470 and SkyCity rose 2c to 294.

Allied Farmers fell 0.5c to 5.9c after disclosing a further downward revaluation of the assets acquired from Hanover Finance and United Finance.

Xero rose 8c to 145.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.9 percent to 10,258.99, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 3.3 percent to 1103.06, and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 3.7 percent to 2277.68.

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