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Strong Early Gains For NZ Sharemarket

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 24 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket gained strongly in early trading, even as top stock Telecom failed to shake off a lack of enthusiasm following Friday's annual result.

As shares rose across the board, Telecom was notable for its decline, slipping 1c early to 263, having dropped 3c on Friday, after a result that was seen as lacking excitement.

But with many other shares making good gains, the benchmark NZSX-50 index was up 33.12 points around 10.15am to 3068.07, having lost 18.2 points on Friday.

Today's early gain comes after the major stock indexes in the United States rose to new highs for the year on Friday (local time).

The US exuberance followed comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the economy is indeed on the verge of recovery.

Major early gains in this country included NZ Refining Co up 25c to 545, Cavalier Corporation up 20c to 270, Fletcher Building up 12c to 786, Contact Energy up 10c to 630, Sky City up 8c to 332, and NZX up 8c to 775.

Shares rising 5c included Trustpower, to 745, Steel & Tube to 325, Nuplex to 220, Freightways to 313 and Ebos Group to 570.

Also making large early gains were the dual-listed banks, with Westpac gaining 110 to 2850, and ANZ up 100 to 2410.

A trading halt was placed on shares of insurer and fund manager Tower, at the company's request, pending an announcement.

In the US, stocks were also helped by a bigger-than-expected jump in home sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.7 percent to 9505.96, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.9 percent to 1026.13, its highest close since October 6 last year.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.6 percent to 2020.90, its highest close since October 1.

For the week, the Dow rose 2 percent, the S&P 500 gained 2.2 percent, and the Nasdaq added 1.8 percent.

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