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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket ends higher, Telecom rises

Monday 13th December 2010

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Strength in selected leaders, including Telecom, boosted the New Zealand sharemarket today, while NZOG ended slightly lower on news of the Pike River Coal receivership.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 18.366 points, or 0.561%, at 3291.287.

Brokers were still talking about big volumes in four stocks which went through the market on Friday. They estimated that as much as 1% of Telecom, 1% of Fletcher Building, more than 1% of SkyCity and 1% of SkyTV traded.

The volume was believed to be related to a change in a mandate of an Australian fund manager with the new manager not wanting to own New Zealand shares. With the sales concluded selling pressure reduced on the stocks affected.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) closed 2c higher at 210 after government agency Crown Fibre Holdings said Telecom had been chosen to take part in prioritised negotiations for its broadband initiative in 25 areas.

"Part of the rise is just recovering from the large sell order and part of it is a positive reaction to the announcement of Telecom still being involved," said James Lee, head of institutional equities at First NZ Capital.

"But it is still early days we don't have any details to form a coherent view on the broadband decision," he said.

NZOG (NZX: NZO ) shares were halted ahead of the announcement of the receivership of Pike River Coal and when the shares resumed they fell and ended down 2c at 87. NZOG is a major shareholder in Pike River Coal but analysts have been assuming little value in the holding for some time.

"The receivership was not unexpected but was probably a little bit sooner than some people expected," Mr Lee said.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) rose 4c to 317, SkyTV (NZX: SKT ) rose 6c to 517 and Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU )  rose 1c to 783.

Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) rose 3c to 618, Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) rose 3c to 210 and Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) rose 3c to 770. TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) rose 5c to 730.

Scott Technology (NZX: SCT ) which has been awarded $3.7 million over three years in a government technology development grant, rose 15c to 136.

Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) eased 1c to 81, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was unchanged at 375 and Hellaby (NZX: HBY ) rose 2c to 202.

US stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 at its highest level since the week Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, and breaching technical levels that suggest the year-end rally will persist.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 40.26 points, or 0.35%, to 11,410.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 7.40 points, or 0.60%, to 1240.40. The Nasdaq Composite rose 20.87 points, or 0.80%, to 2637.54.

In the latest signs of improvement in the US economic recovery, data showed consumer sentiment rose more than expected in early December, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey, while import prices in November climbed at their fastest pace in a year.

Another positive signal came from the Commerce Department, which said the US trade deficit narrowed much more than expected in October.



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