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NZ Sharemarket Starts 2010 With Early Gains

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 5 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started 2010 in the same vein as it ended 2009, climbing early as leading shares gained.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index ended 2009 around 3230 points, 19 percent higher than where it finished 2008. It has been trending upwards since mid-December and is now near the 13-month high around 3257 points reached last October.

Around 10.15am the NZSX-50 index was up 15.61 points, nearly half a percent, to 3245.75, following on from the 9.2-point gain last Thursday.

Among leading shares Contact Energy was up 7c early to 622, Fletcher Building lifted 4c to 803, and Telecom was up 3c to 253.

Other shares rising early included Sky City, which gained 5c to 335, Guinness Peat Group up 2c to 86, Fisher & Paykel Appliances lifted 2c to 60, and OceanaGold was up 12c to 230.

Main falls early were F&P Healthcare which dropped 4c to 333 and Rakon down 2c to 114.

In the United States, stocks rallied in the first trading session of 2010, as investors bet that the economic recovery would be sustained following upbeat data on the manufacturing sector.

Weakness in the US dollar also boosted the market as investors snapped up shares of natural resource companies. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow hit their highest closes in 15 months, while the Nasdaq hit its highest close in 16 months.

Based on preliminary data, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1.5 percent at 10,583.96, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index shot up 1.6 percent to 1132.98, and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.7 percent to 2308.42.

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