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NZ Sharemarket Starts Week Stronger

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Mar 1 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket rose in early trading, although Telecom's share price fell 3 percent.

Guinness Peat Group shares were up 4c to 86 after reporting a full year loss of Stg36 million ($NZ78.1m) with chairman Sir Ron Brierley saying the company's board was working on proposals for the early implementation of a commitment to return value to shareholders.

Among the leaders, Contact Energy gained 5c to 617 and Fletcher Building was up 2c to 795, but Telecom lost 7c to 226.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 12.07 points to 3168.17, after gaining 4.4 points on Friday.

Rakon lifted 2c to 100 and Auckland Airport was up 2c to 188 while stock exchange operator NZX was unchanged on 205 after reporting a 280 percent rise in full year net profit to $38.7 million, with the result boosted by asset sales.

Teamtalk lifted 5c to 230 and Wakefield Health was up 16c to 700.

In the United States, 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.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 1.1 percent, with European bank and commodity stocks leading the share price gains as metal and oil prices rose.

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