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NZ Sharemarket Edges Up Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 14 NZPA - Shares in Steel & Tube rose in early trading to be equal with yesterday's intraday two-month high, as the New Zealand sharemarket edged higher shortly after opening today.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 2.9 points to 3279.1, having yesterday fallen 14.1 points in line with equity markets around the world after China said it would raise banks' reserve requirements.

The index has fallen on each of the past three days, after reaching a 15-month high last Friday.

Steel & Tube started to climb in mid-December, and during the day yesterday reached 300 before closing at 296. Early today its shares were back up 4c to 300, a gain of about 1.4 percent.

Other shares rising early today included Sky City, up 4c to 337, Sky TV up 2c to 517, and Kiwi Income Property Trust up 2c to 105.

Ebos Group lost 9c to 591, but on low volume, Port of Tauranga was down 5c to 710, NZX fell 5c to 227, and Hellaby Holdings was down 2c to 168.

Among leading shares Telecom edged up 1c to 253, Fletcher Building was unchanged on 845, and Contact Energy slipped 1c to 631.

In the United States, the stock market closed higher, following the lead of financial stocks as the heads of several big banks testified before Congress about the financial crisis.

Stocks fluctuated early in the day but strengthened as the questioning of bank officials proceeded with little in the way of confrontation.

Industries seen as safer in a weak economy, such as health care and utilities, posted some of the biggest gains.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to 10,680.77, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.8 percent to 1145.68, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.1 percent to 2307.90.


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