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NZ Sharemarket Winds Up Ahead Of Holiday Break

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 22 NZPA - Allied Farmers shares rose today in a market that posted solid gains in the run up to the Christmas holiday break.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 29.379 points, or 0.933 percent, at 3179.184, after slipping 4.4 points yesterday. Turnover was worth $42 million. There were 55 rises and 27 falls among the 120 stocks traded.

"It was a good day but volumes are light," said Ross Cuthbert, adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

"It's a nice little rally following on from positive overseas markets."

Allied Farmers rose to 10.9c from 10c yesterday with 9.2 million shares traded and there is question mark over whether selling pressure will continue as the Hanover investors establish relationships with stock brokers. The Allied Farmers board also met today.

"It is obviously attracting a few bargain hunters," said Mr Cuthbert.

Auckland Airport rose 4c to 196 on a well received operational update while Air NZ was unchanged at 119 after releasing its operational update for November.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 4c to 336 and is seen benefiting from a lower NZ dollar and healthcare reforms advancing in the US Senate.

Contact Energy rose 5c to 607 and it continues to recover after dropping to a five-month low of 563 a week ago.

A 11c lift took Fletcher Building to 781, to its highest level of the past fortnight, while a 1c lift took Telecom to 247, just below the month high of 249.

Among other share movements today Cavalier Corp gained 9c to 278, Mainfreight rose 15c to 580, NZ Refining Co added 8c to 368, Property for Industry was up 2c to 119.

The Warehouse lifted 13c to 420 on a day in which electronic transaction company Paymark reported strong sales ahead of Christmas. But Hellaby fell 2c to 164 and Michael Hill fell 1c to 65.

The shares of NZX split today and closed at 231. Brokers said this was equivalent to a 4.4 percent rise from the equivalent of the 885 close yesterday prior to the split.

Smiths City was unchanged at 31 after reporting a 24.2 percent increase in interim profit today. Comvita rose 6c to 141 and Xero rose 4c to 161.

In the United States, stocks mounted a broad advance after a key healthcare reform bill advanced in the Senate and brokerages upgraded Dow components Intel Corp and Alcoa Inc on improving profit prospects.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 85.25 points, 0.83 percent, at 10,414.14, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.1 percent to 1114.05, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.2 percent at 2237.66 -- its highest close in 15 months.

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