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NZ Shares Gain Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 15 NZPA - Early gains by leading stocks helped the New Zealand sharemarket start today's trading with a lift.

After yesterday falling to a three-month low at 755, and closing down 18c at 760, Fletcher Building shares were up 7c early to 767, while Telecom shares, which were unchanged yesterday, gained 3c early today to 238. Contact Energy shares opened up 3c, after losing 10c yesterday, but were soon back to even at 570.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 7.4 points to 3106.2, having yesterday closed down 29.2 points, its lowest closing level in more than a fortnight

Cavalier Corp added 3c early to 258, on top of yesterday's 10c gain, while The Warehouse lifted 5c to 410. NZ Oil & Gas was up 2c to 165, having fallen 9c yesterday after the company said its Albacore-1 well, in the northern offshore Taranaki basin, reached its total depth with only traces of hydrocarbons found. It is the first of four exploration wells in the company's summer drilling programme.

OceanaGold, which yesterday increased projections for reserves at mines in Otago and the West Coast, was up 20c to 220.

In the United States, rising stocks sent the Dow and the benchmark S&P 500 to their highest closes in 14 months, as a financial rescue of Dubai eased default worries and Exxon Mobil's planned takeover of XTO Energy increased optimism about share valuations.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.3 percent to end unofficially at 10,501.05, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.7 percent to finish unofficially at 1114.11, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1 percent to close unofficially at 2212.10.

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