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Firm start for NZ sharemarket

Wednesday 8th December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the day firmly, with key stocks Telecom and Fletcher Building both rising early.

Around 10.10am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 9.17 points to 3291.03, after yesterday closing down 11.3 points.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) gained 4c early to 787 after yesterday losing 7c, while Telecom (NZX: TEL lifted 3c early to 218 cancelling out its decline yesterday, and another leading stock, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) edged up 1c to 618.

Before the market opened it was announced that a joint Telecom and Vodafone proposal was one of three short-listed for the Government's rural broadband initiative.

Sky City (NZX: SKC ) rose 3c to 321, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was up 2c to 378, Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) added 2c to 209, Opus International (NZX: OIC ) lifted 3c to 190, Pumpkin Patch (NZX: PPL ) was up 2c to 167, and Xero (NZX: XRO ) gained 5c to 220.

Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) lost 4c to 758, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) was down 2c to 315.

In the US stocks eked out a small gain as investors' enthusiasm over a tax cut extension deal was short-circuited by rising bond yields and reports regulators were stepping up an insider trading probe.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.03% at 11,359.16, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.1% at 1223.75, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.1% at 2598.49.

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