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NZ Sharemarket Edges Up Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 26 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket edged up in early trade, as leading stocks chalked up small gains.

Leading stock Telecom was up 1c early to 275, Fletcher Building gained 3c to 785 and Contact Energy lifted 3c to 636.

Tourism Holdings shares lifted 1c to 57 after the company reported an 80 percent fall in full year net profit to $2.9 million, reflecting hard times for the tourism industry.

Around 10.15am, the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 2.31 points to 3082.81, after yesterday gaining 12.8 points.

Shares losing ground early included NZ Refining Co, down 4c to 540, Pike River Coal down 4c to 99, Sanford down 3c to 505 and Sky TV down 3c to 450.

Mainfreight lost 10c to 520 and Port of Tauranga was down 4c to 651, but both were on low volume.

Among the early gainers, Methven added 3c to 158 and Tower was up 2c to 173.

In the United States, stocks rose as economic data and the renomination of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke reassured investors and offset concerns about red ink in the federal budget.

The Conference Board's August index of consumer confidence topped economists' forecast, while the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose for a second consecutive month in June, suggesting a recovery in two sectors crucial to a rebound in US economy.

The positive news overshadowed government forecasts that the US national debt will nearly double over the next 10 years due to a slow recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s, and higher spending on retirement and medical benefits.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.3 percent to 9539.29, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.2 percent to 1028.00, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 2024.23.

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