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Sharemarket Slightly Firmer In Quiet Trading

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 23 NZPA - The sharemarket was up slightly in quiet early trading today ahead of the Christmas holiday break.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 3.3 points or 0.1 percent to 3182.49 in the first 10 minutes, following yesterday's gain and an overnight lift in US stock prices.

Two of the three market heavyweights were unchanged, with Telecom at 245 and Fletcher Building at 781, but Contact Energy rose 2c to 609.

Following a surge in pre-Christmas spending, The Warehouse added 4c to yesterday's gains -- rising to 424.

Other stocks in positive territory this morning included Auckland Airport, up 2c to 198, NZ Refining 2c to 370, Port of Tauranga 5c to 705 and Air NZ 1c to 120.

PGG Wrightson shed 2c to 60 and down 1c each were Fisher and Paykel Appliances to 64, Pike River Coal to 97 and Infratil to 165.

Reuters reported from New York that stocks rose as a surge in existing home sales indicated more stabilisation in housing and boosted optimism about the economic recovery.

The CBOE volatility index, Wall Street's favourite measure of investor fear, fell 4.6 percent to close below 20 for the first time since August 2008.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50.79 points, or 0.49 percent, to end unofficially at 10,464.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.97 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish unofficially at 1118.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15.01 points, or 0.67 percent, to close unofficially at 2252.67.

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