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NZ sharemarket edges up early

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 9 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose modestly in early trade, after the market yesterday retreated from a 29-month high.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 1.69 points to 3384.87, having yesterday slipped 4.2 points as investors wait for the results season to get under way.

Fishing company Sanford rose 5c early to 500 but on small volume, while Methven gained 4c to 164, and Freightways gained 2c to 328.

Among leading stocks, Telecom edged up 1c to 219, Fletcher Building slipped 1c to 821, and Contact Energy was unchanged on 632.

Steel & Tube lost 3c to 227 early, Comvita lost 2c to 150, and NZ Refining Co dropped 4c to 492.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average closed its seventh straight day of gains after McDonald's surprisingly strong sales drove confidence in the economic recovery. Light volume, however, called the rally's strength into question.

Energy share weakness limited gains in the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq Composite index after China, the world's second biggest energy consumer, raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks. The rate hike pressured commodities on fears of lower demand, but had little market impact outside that sector.

On preliminary figures, the Dow Jones gained 0.6 percent to 12,233.15, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent to 1324.57, and the Nasdaq gained 0.5 percent to 2797.05.

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