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NZ Sharemarket Lifts As Positive Earnings Reports Flow

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 25 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket ignored weakness in other markets to rise today as positive earnings statements flowed and the latest National Bank Business Outlook survey showed confidence at a decade high.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 20.804 points, or 0.664 percent, at 3151.686. Turnover was worth $94 million, of which $43.8m was in Telecom shares. There were 47 rises and 31 falls among the 114 stocks traded.

Telecom eased a cent to 231 as its under-performing XT network continued to be in the news.

The mood in the market overall was buoyed by the accounts of publicly listed companies filed to NZX today.

Hellaby rose 7c to 155 after reporting higher earnings on lower sales, and Nuplex rose 8c to 341 after reporting a 481 percent rise in net profit after tax.

Ebos was unchanged at 597 but brokers liked its interim report and said the share price had been firm recently.

"It is a fantastic Christchurch-based company that continues to grow," Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene said.

Port of Tauranga rose 2c to 700 after reporting a little changed interim profit. Lyttelton Port of Christchurch is rarely traded but it highlighted the Fonterra exports it now handles in its result.

Contact Energy rose 25c to 614 after reporting a strong profit earlier this week.

PGG Wrightson rose 2c to 60 after reporting interim results and naming Sir John Anderson as chairman.

Tomorrow Auckland Airport, Air New Zealand, Vector and Pyne Gould Corp and ANZ are among the companies reporting.

Fletcher Building gained 3c to 800. Goodman Fielder fell 8c to 190 after reporting a 25 percent rise in first-half profit.

Tower eased 3c to 188 and after the market closed announced higher premiums for medical insurance.

Hallenstein Glasson rose 9c to 360 and Tourism Holdings, which reported this week, rose 2c to 97. Freightways rose 5c to 304, Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 60 and SkyTV rose 11c to 498. Cavalier Carpets rose 5c to 265.

The Australian market and some Asian markets were weak today. A reassurance from US Federal Reserve governor Ben Bernanke that US interest rates will stay low lifted US stocks after a two-day slide.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.9 percent at 10,374.16, the Nasdaq was 1 percent higher at 2235.90, and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index added 1 percent to 1105.22.

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