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Solid Start To Week For NZ Sharemarket

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 16 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket had a firm start to the week, after stocks in the United States had their best week since November.

Among leading shares, Fletcher Building was up 5c early today to 550, Contact Energy gained 3c to 570, and Telecom was up 2c to 236.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 12.75 points to 2536.14, having gained 31.8 points on Friday.

Other early risers today included Cavalier Corporation, up 5c to 140, Hallenstein Glasson up 4c to 201, Fisher & Paykel Appliances up 3c to 54, and Sky City up 3c to 280.

Shares to fall early included NZX, down 15c to 585 on low volume, Freightways down 3c to 278, Air New Zealand down 3c to 86, and Auckland Airport down 2c to 168.

Shares in Nuplex Industries were in a trading halt as the company carried out a share placement and new rights issue to raise $110 million after the company reached an agreement with its banks.

US stocks scored their best week since November on Friday (local time) as a broker upgraded Merck & Co, saying its deal to buy a rival was shrewd, and Citigroup said it did not need any more government aid.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.75 percent to 7223.98, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 0.77 percent to 756.55, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.38 percent to 1431.50.

For the week, the Dow rose 9 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 10.7 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 10.6 percent.

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