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MARKET CLOSE: NZ market starts week slightly firmer

Monday 6th December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the week on a positive note but investors are cautious ahead of an official cash rate review by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 9.882 points, or 0.3%, at 3293.18 after opening down slightly.

There was little corporate news to react to but Treasury figures showing that corporate tax revenue was $784 million, or 28%, lower than forecast in the four months to the end of October, were a reminder of the pressure on the corporate sector.

The standout performer today was Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) which rose 14c to 621. Investors have been positive after the company explained at its annual meeting in October that two major new assets will restore significant flexibility to its portfolio from 2011. The stock is trading at levels not seen since May.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) rose 3c to 218 on good volume as investors continue to wait for news on the Government's broadband plans. Vector (NZX: VCT ) fell 5c to 243.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) fell 5c to 790, Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) dropped 10c to 735, Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) fell 1c to 762, and Tourism Holdings (NZX: THL )  fell 3c to 71.

Retailers were mixed with The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) up 8c to 382, Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) was unchanged at 81 and Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) fell 5c to 420.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) gained 6c to 348, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) rose 8c to 756 and Tower (NZX: TWR )  rose 3c to 199.

Infratil (NZX: IFT ) was up 2c to 187 on a day TrustPower (NZX: TPW ) fell 9c to 737. Infratil is a shareholder in TrustPower.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) rose 6c to 319 and SkyTV (NZX: SKT ) rose 1c to 519.

Xero (NZX: XRO ) lifted 7c to a new high at 225, and Smartpay (NZX: SPY ) rose 0.2c to 2.9.

In the US on Friday (local time) stocks shrugged off tepid jobs growth at the end of the best week in a month, indicating the rally may have further to run.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2% to end at 11,382.09, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.3% to 1224.71, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5% to close at 2591.46.

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