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NZ Sharemarket Open Positively

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 12 NZPA - The New Zealand share market gained in early trading this morning -- led by trading in Goodman Fielder and following positive news from US and Australian markets.

The benchmark NZX-50 index opened at 3065.278 and gained 11.682 points, or 0.381 percent, to 3076.960 at 10.15am.

Leading the charge was Goodman Fielder, which rose 5c to 200.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up 1c to 63, Fletcher Building improved 4c to 749, Auckland Airport was up 1c to 187 and Tower gained 2c to 193.

Telecom, which today reported a reduced December quarter profit of $80 million and that its expectations of full year profit to be in the lower part of its predicted range of $400m to $440m, gained 1c to 232.

Stocks losing ground were Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which shed 2c to 326, Restaurant Brands, down 1c to 175 and AMP Office Trust, which shed 1c to 72.

Steel & Tube continued to fall today after yesterday reporting an 85 percent fall in interim profit and signalling only a slow improvement in its outlook statement. This morning its shares lost 9c to 260, on top of yesterday's 7c drop although volumes were low.

In the US Wall St rose on Thursday, sending major indexes up more than 1 percent, as an EU pledge to help debt-ridden Greece drew a sigh of relief from markets worried about a possible sovereign default.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 115.93 points, or 1.15 percent, at 10,154.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 10.78 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1078.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.80 points, or 1.39 percent, at 2,177.67.

Relief about the agreement pushed the market broadly higher Thursday. Energy stocks logged some of the biggest gains after oil rose for a fourth day.

Encouraging news about jobs in the US is also supporting stocks. The Labor Department says first-time claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week.

The Australian share market closed higher yesterday, led by expectations of a strong profit result by Rio Tinto and rises among the major banks.

Better than expected employment data also put a sparkle into the market, brokers said.

Rio Tinto Ltd reported, after the close of trading, a 33 per cent surge in calendar 2009 net profit to $US4.872 billion ($NZ6.62 billion) driven by record iron ore sales and higher copper and gold production.

The benchmark S&P ASX200 index was up 40.9 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 4554.3 points and the broader All Ordinaries index rose 42.8 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 4575.8 points.

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