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NZ shares up in morning trading

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 24 NZPA - The New Zealand share market opened positively this morning, following the lead of overseas markets.

The benchmark NZX-50 index was up 4.27 points, or 0.13 percent to 3232.638 in the first quarter of an hour today.

Among stocks improving were NZ Oil & Gas, up 1c to 156, Kiwi Income Property Trust, up 1c to 100,

Fletcher Building, up 1c to 833 and Nuplex, up 4c to 336.

Goodman Property Trust was up 1c to 101, Hellaby Holdings rose 5c to 165 and Michael Hill International gained 1c to 71.

Telecom lost 1c to 213.

NZ Refining lost 4c to 416, Freightway 2c to 318 and Mainfreight 1c to 602, although on small volumes.

Guinness Peat Group was unchanged at 86, as was Auckland Airport at 192.

Overseas sharemarkets were generally upbeat yesterday. Britain's FTSE 100 closed at 5673.63, up 29.1 points or 0.52 percent, hitting a fresh 21-month closing high, led by commodity, energy and banking stocks as fears over monetary tightening effects ebbed.

European shares hit a more than 17-month high, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares closed up 0.7 percent at 1072.44 points, its highest closing level since early October 2008. The index, which gained around 26 percent in 2009, is up 2.6 percent this year.

Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.5 percent, moving further away from two-month highs hit last week. The Nikkei fell 50.57 points to 10,774.15 after last week hitting a two-month high near 10,900. The index rose 0.7 percent last week for its sixth straight weekly gain.

Australian stocks resumed their upward climb, gaining for the fifth time in six sessions as financial firms benefited from optimism about recovery in the global economy. The S&P ASX 200 index rose 44.6 points or 0.9 percent to 4874.8.

US stocks rose on Tuesday, lifting the Dow and the S&P 500 to 18-month closing highs, as a report signalling further signs of stabilisation in housing fuelled investor appetite for riskier assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102.94 points, or 0.95 percent, to end unofficially at 10,888.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 8.36 points, or 0.72 percent, to finish unofficially at 1174.17. The Nasdaq Composite Indexshot up 19.84 points, or 0.83 percent, to end unofficially at 2415.24 -- its highest close in 19 months.

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