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NZ Sharemarket Ends First Week Of New Year Positively

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 8 NZPA - Michael Hill International shares rose 10.6 percent to 73 today after the jewellery retailer reported a 4.4 percent lift in same store sales for the half year to the end of December.

Brokers said the positive trading statement from the company was a contrast to flat trading report by retailer The Warehouse earlier this week. The Warehouse saw its situation as indicative of the non-retail market overall. Its shares fell 4c to 411 today.

Overall, leading shares rose as a new year rally gained momentum. Fletcher Building rose 21c to 832 and Telecom rose 6c to 259. Contact was unchanged at 632.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index rose 25.415 points, or 0.774 percent, to a 15-month high 3310.226. Turnover was worth $53 million. There were 41 rises and 29 falls among the 102 stocks traded.

"It is just a general rise on the market as people look for opportunities for the new calendar year," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

He said the Michael Hill figures were good and caused the stock to be a stand out on the day.

Michael Hill said all countries in which it operated performed well and improved their same store trading but retail conditions were still difficult in North America.

Mainfreight rose 10c to 578 on thin volume and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 4c to 339.

Tourism Holdings was another stand out in percentage rise terms, rising 8c, or 9.41 percent, to 93 on light volume.

Steel & Tube rose 3c to 290, Nuplex rose 12c to 313 and Rakon rose 2c to 116.

APN rose 4c to 304 and Methven rose 2c to 167.

Restaurant Brands rose 5c to 174 and Infratil rose 1c to 166. TrustPower rose 3c to 728 and Port of Tauranga rose 3c to 715. Xero rose 3c to 165.

NZX eased 2c to 226. SkyTV eased 10c to 518 and GPG eased 1c to 90.

In the United States, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at fresh 15-month highs as shares of financial companies and big manufacturers advanced following positive broker comments on Bank of America and General Electric.

Even so, caution ahead of the government's December US non-farm payrolls report on Friday (local time) limited a broader market advance and led the Nasdaq to finish just shy of breakeven.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent to close at 10,606.86, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.40 percent to 1141.69, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.05 percent to 2300.05.

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