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NZ Sharemarket Closes Higher, Fletcher Building Rises

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 7 NZPA - A rise in Fletcher Building's share price to a nine-week high helped propel the New Zealand sharemarket higher in still thin new year trading.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 13.243 points, or 0.405 percent, at 3284.811, its highest level in nearly 16 months. Turnover was worth $71 million. There were 43 rises and 26 falls among the 109 stocks traded.

Market leader Fletcher Building rose 10c to 811 on a day in which Auckland's largest real estate agent reported a strong property market in December.

There was more data today suggesting the Australian economy, where Fletcher Building has a large business, is performing better than expected but this also led to speculation of further interest rate rises.

PGG Wrightson was unchanged at 61 after selling a half stake in the Canterbury Saleyards Company Ltd to its partner in the facility.

Retailers remain as mixed as the reports of shopping patterns in the Christmas and holiday season, though Warehouse rose 5c to 415, Hallenstein Glasson rose 4c to 340 and Pumpkin Patch rose 1c to 202.

OceanaGold shares continued their recent ascent, adding 8c to a month high 250.

After reaching a seven-week intraday high of 258 yesterday, shares in Telecom were down 4c to 253 today.

TrustPower eased 4c to 725 on very light volume. NZX eased 8c to 228. APN rose 2c to 300.

NZOG rose 2c to 167 on a day in which it was queried by the ASX about a director notice.

Tower rose 3c to 210, Infratil 3c to 165, and Freightways 1c to 340. Contact rose 7c to 632, Nuplex 4c to 301, and Mainfreight 11c to 568.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rose 3c to 335 and the appliances stock was unchanged at 62.

In the United States, the stock market ended little changed following mixed economic reports and as minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting point to divisions among policymakers.

A trade group's report that its service industry index rose was welcome news, but a private snapshot of private sector jobs fell short of expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.02 percent at 10,573.68, the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 0.05 percent at 1137.14, and the Nasdaq composite index down 0.3 percent at 2301.09.

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