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Telecom on trading halt as NZ sharemarket rises early

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 15 NZPA - The New Zealand stock market pushed ahead to its highest level in 19 months in early trading while market heavyweight Telecom was placed on a trading halt.

NZX said it had placed the company's shares on a halt at the request of the company pending a material announcement.

The benchmark NZX-50 index climbed as high as 3346.45 in early trading and by 10.15am was up 9.76 points to 3345.27, after rising 25.5 points yesterday.

Today's early gains came after world stocks rallied to more than 1-1/2-year highs and oil rose more than 2 percent to snap a five-day losing streak as unexpected strength in United States consumer spending and earnings at JPMorgan Chase and Intel drove optimism on the economic recovery.

Fletcher Building shares gained 8c early to 853, NZ Refining Co lifted 5c to 395, Sky TV was up 4c to 520, Hallenstein Glasson lifted 4c to 354, and Air New Zealand gained 3c to 143.

Shares rising 2c included Tower, to 203, Steel & Tube to 272, Restaurant Brands to 222, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to 342.

Fishing company Sanford fell 6c to 450.

In the United States, stocks notched a fifth straight day of gains as stronger-than-expected corporate results and March retail sales pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 past 1200 for the first time in 18 months.

More stocks hit a 52-week high on the New York Stock Exchange than on any day since the end of December 2003. The Nasdaq recorded its greatest number of 52-week highs since January 2004.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.9 percent at 11,123.11, the S&P 500 Index was up 1.1 percent at 1210.65, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.6 percent at 2504.86.

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