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Strength In Leading Shares Carries NZ Sharemarket Higher

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 20 NZPA - Strength in leading shares helped propel the New Zealand sharemarket higher today after the United States market hit fresh one-year highs.

A surge in the New Zealand dollar to US75.75c was a negative for exporters and was seen as a reason for a 6c fall in Fisher and Paykel Healthcare to 299. But other exporters remained resilient and those exporting to Australia are seen as being better positioned.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 31.637 points, or 0.982 percent, at 3252.561. Turnover was worth $82 million. There were 54 rises and 20 falls among the 112 stocks traded.

Stephen Wright at ASB Securities said the market was slow to take off and turnover was not huge.

The saviour was strength in Fletcher Building and other leaders like Telecom, SkyCity and Contact.

"It looks like institutions, possibly from offshore are buying our leaders," he said.

AMP Capital Investors said today that New Zealand equities remained good value relative to cash and bonds but the market would lag any positive run in global equities.

Fletcher Building was down 5c early but ended up 10c at 845.

SkyCity rose 14c to 355 and Telecom rose 4c to 257. Contact rose 10c to 635. TrustPower rose 10c to 760

Steel and Tube rose 15c to 314 and NZ Refining rose 17 to 525.

Also gaining were Port of Tauranga up 11c to 731, Freightways 3c to 318 and Mainfreight 3c to 565.

Infratil rose 2c to 168 and investors are keeping an eye on scenarios with its Energy Developments holding in Australia.

NZX rose 9c to 811 and Air NZ rose 2c to 132.

Nuplex rose 3c to 243, Ryman rose 3c to 190 and Cavalier rose 2c to 250.

PGG Wrightson fell 1c to 77.

P ostie Plus added 2c to 40 and as did Pumpkin Patch to 202.

Horizon Energy rose 11c to 351 on light volume.

In the US, stocks rose to fresh 12-month highs as optimistic investors rode a wave of solid quarterly results.

Earnings from companies, including Gannett Co Inc, which beat analysts' expectations, and positive broker commentary on Caterpillar Inc further encouraged investors looking for confirmation the economy is healing.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 1 percent to end at 10,092.19, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.9 percent to 1097.91, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to 2176.32.

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