Wellington, Jan 13 NZPA - New Zealand shares rose firmly in early trading after stocks gained in Europe and the United States following a successful bond auction in Portugal that eased worries about Europe's debt crisis.
Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 9.36 points to 3343.95, having got to 3344.4 a few minutes earlier, the highest level in nine months. Yesterday the index gained 4.8 points.
Among the top shares, Fletcher Building added 3c to 790, Contact Energy was up 4c to 628, and Telecom was unchanged on 221.
Restaurant Brands shares were up 5c to 267, NZX added 5c to 163, Ebos gained 5c to 738, The Warehouse was up 2c to 353, Ryman Healthcare lifted 2c to 233, NZ Refining Co added 2c to 444, and Hellaby Holdings lifted 6c to 225.
Michael Hill International was up 1c to 89 after saying it expected first half earnings before interest and tax to rise to between $32 million and $34 million, from $30.3 million a year earlier. Same store sales for the period were up 9.8 percent.
In the US, stocks ended solidly higher, driven by gains in banks and commodity-related shares, with further flows into equities on speculation the economy will strengthen.
Based on preliminary data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.7 percent at 11,755.44, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.9 percent at 1285.91, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.8 percent at 2737.33.
Other good news overnight included data showing the fastest pace of economic growth in Germany since unification in 1991 -- 3.6 percent in 2010 after a contraction of 4.7 percent in 2009.
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