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NZ Sharemarket Lifts In Early Trade

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 25 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket lifted in early trade, following the lead of Wall Street which was bolstered by United States Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke who reaffirmed his commitment to keep interest rates low for an extended period to sustain the still-fragile recovery.

Among the leading shares, Fletcher Building made a solid start, gaining 8c to 805, while Contact Energy gained 3c to 592, and Telecom slipped 1c to 231.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 11.73 points to 3142.61, having yesterday managed a moderate 4.5-point gain.

Early today Port of Tauranga was up 6c to 704, on low volume, after reporting a 2 percent rise in half year net profit.

Freightways lifted 4c to 303, Tourism Holdings was up 2c to 97, Sky City gained 2c to 321, Nuplex gained 2c to 335, and Auckland Airport was up 2c to 187.

The few shares falling early included NZX, down 3c to 202, and Steel & Tube down 2c to 258.

The reassurance from Mr 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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