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NZ sharemarket makes modest early gain

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 16 NZPA - Investors continued to smile on Restaurant Brands when the sharemarket opened today, with the stock rising a further 4c, to 230, as it climbs further away from its lowpoint of 57c in November 2008.

The company, which has the KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks Coffee brands in this company, received an added boost earlier this month when it reported full year net profit, excluding non-trading items, up 70 percent to $19.9 million.

Restaurant Brands was not the only good news in the market today, but despite the upside the benchmark NZX-50 index was up just 1.1 points to 3322.22 around 10.15am. Yesterday it reached a 19-month high around 3349 points before ending down 14.4 points after Telecom cut its earnings guidance for the 2011 to 2013 financial years.

Today Telecom was up 1c early to 219, while other risers included NZ Refining Co up 4c to 390, Sky City up 2c to 328, and Freightways gaining 2c to 319.

Shares falling early included Trustpower, down 5c to 745, Nuplex down 4c to 331, Sanford, down 4c to 440, and Fletcher Building down 3c to 850.

Shares in Skellerup Holdings were placed in a trading halt just before the market opened, at the company's request, pending a material announcement.

In the United States, stocks posted their sixth straight day of gains as an encouraging profit forecast from United Parcel Service lifted transportation shares, though concerns about a rise in weekly jobless claims limited the market's advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent to end at 11,144.57, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up or 0.1 percent to 1211.67, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to close at 2515.69.

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