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Nz Sharemarket Starts Week Higher

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 1 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose today with investors seeing some positives in the smaller company announcements to the exchange.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 8.05 points, or 0.255 percent, at 3164.152. Turnover was worth $48.9 million. There were 41 rises and 35 falls among the 116 stocks traded.

Telecom fell 14c to 219 after going ex-dividend today.

"The reporting season is over for large-cap New Zealand companies but it is certainly not over," said James Lee, head of wholesale equities at First NZ Capital.

Wellington Drive Technologies rose 1c to 8c after saying it would not seek further capital before moving to profitability.

Guinness Peat Group shares rose 5c to 87 after the company said it planned to update the market on crystalising value by the annual general meeting in May.

"That's a fairly short time frame so investors liked that," Mr Lee said.

SkyTV rose 17c to 515 in an on going reaction to its earnings result last week.

Contact Energy rose 11c to 623 and TrustPower fell 10c to 725.

NZX eased a cent to 204 after reporting a 280 percent annual profit rise mostly from already announced asset sales.

ANZ rose 85c to 3010 and Westpac rose 90c to 3390.

Auckland Airport rose 1c to 187 and Air NZ 2c to 131. Mainfreight rose 5c to 590 and Freightways eased 1c to 304. NZOG rose 1c to 204.

Shares in Delegats Group fell 17c to 210 after the wine exporter reported a 12 percent decline in interim net profit on Friday.

Across Asia markets were higher after copper jumped the most in 11 months on concerns the Chilean earthquake may disrupt supplies.

In the United States on Friday, stocks edged up, capping their best monthly advance since November, though lower on the week, as data showed the US economy grew a tad better than expected in the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 0.04 percent to 10,325.26, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.1 percent to 1104.49, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 2238.26.

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