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NZ Sharemarket Gets Boost From The United States

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 19 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket strengthened today after Wall Street took heart from new Federal Reserve moves to resuscitate the ailing United States economy.

The Fed said it would buy long-term Treasury bonds for the first time in four decades and buy more US mortgage and agency debt.

New Zealand's benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 26.88 points or 1.03 percent to 2633.21, following a 41.6-point rise on Wednesday.

Fletcher Building dragged on the market, with a 13c fall to 592, after climbing strongly for a fortnight -- including a 35c lift on Wednesday.

Carpet maker Cavalier, another stock to have risen sharply of late, shed 22c to 158.

Heavyweight stocks Telecom and Contact Energy were among today's gainers, Telecom by 5c to 245 and Contact 10c to 604.

Air New Zealand, which went to the High Court today to try to extract evidence which it says the Commerce Commission is withholding in its air cargo cartel litigation, firmed 1c to 90.

Others to gain included Auckland Airport 4c to 178, NZ Farming Systems 5c to 70, PGG Wrightson 10c to 120, Skellerup 6c to 66 and Sky TV 10c to 395.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances slipped 3c to 39, while the Healthcare stock lost 9c to 320.

Total market turnover was 33.5 million shares worth $64 million.

Ian Waddell of McDouall Securities said some bargain-hunting was starting to emerge, but volumes remained thin and many brokers were concentrating on sales of high-yielding bonds.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare stock was coming under pressure because of currency movements which were the day's main talking point, he said.

He added that some New Zealand company results, including for The Warehouse and Briscoes, had not gone too badly in the circumstances.

"I think that has encouraged some people to do some bottom fishing (in the sharemarket)," Mr Waddell said.

On Wall St, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.2 percent to 7486.58, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 2.1 percent to 794.35, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2 percent to 1491.22.

NZPA WGT Reuters nb gt

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