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NZ Sharemarket Posts Gains In Quiet Trading

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 10 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose today, following a decline yesterday after nine consecutive days of gains.

"It was a good performance by the local market considering there were flat performances offshore," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton, Hindin Greene.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 12.985 points, or 0.404 percent, at 3226.192. Market turnover was worth $75.89 million. There were 50 rises and 28 falls among the 112 stocks traded.

There were few features in trading and few corporate situations to focus on. The New Zealand dollar rose today ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand monetary policy statement tomorrow.

Telecom gained 3c to 224, and Fletcher Building rose 3c to 813, helping the index higher.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2c to 331 after saying its new ICON continuous positive airway pressure devices for treating obstructive sleep apnea have been well received in the New Zealand and Australian markets.

"It is confirmation that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is staying ahead of the pack when it comes to research and development and investors like that," said Mr Williamson.

Wakefield Health was untraded after announcing an expansion in the Bay of Plenty.

Michael Hill rose 2c to 73 and Hellaby Holdings, which owns retailers, rose 3c to 168.

Having closed unchanged yesterday after reporting an 81-percent lift in full year net profit to $21 million, and a 7.3 percent rise in sales revenue, retailer Briscoe Group lifted 2c today to 137.

Mainfreight rose 5c to 612 and Port of Tauranga rose 5c to 695. Carpet company Cavalier rose 3c early to 278.

APN News fell 9c to 310, Restaurant Brands fell 3c to 188, and Nuplex fell 2c to 333. Contact Energy fell 6c to 609 and TrustPower fell 5c to 715. NZOG fell 1c to 159 and Infratil fell 1c to 165.

In the United States, stocks ended slightly higher, helped by gains in the telecoms and industrial sectors, though the advance was limited by falling commodity prices that pressured materials shares. The market's mild finish came on the first anniversary of its drop to 12-year closing lows on March 9, 2009.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 11.86 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 10,564.38, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 1.95 points, or 0.17 percent at 1140.45, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.47 points, 0.36 percent, at 2340.68.

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