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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket rises slightly after quiet start

Monday 4th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket notched up a modest gain today as equity markets in many countries rallied after a jobs report in the Untied States on Friday boosted sentiment.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 7.373 points, or 0.214%, at 3459.509 after opening down 4.03 points. Turnover was worth $116.86 million. There were 51 rises and 24 falls among the 111 stocks traded.

The New Zealand dollar was a strong performer today on further evidence of high commodity prices, but analysts said the equity market has had a strong run and profit-taking is likely. The NZX-50 has risen for 14 consecutive sessions.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ), which drove the market last week, eased a cent to $9.33. Telecom (NZX: TEL ) rose 2c to $2.06.5.

Goodman Fielder (NZX: GFF ) rose 2c to $1.68, Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) rose 4c to $7.60 and Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) rose 3c to $4.55.

Kathmandu (NZX: KMD ) rose 2c to $2.32, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) rose 4c to $3.55 and Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) rose 4c to $3.81, though Pumpkin Patch (NZX: PPL ) was unchanged at $1.33.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) rose 3c to $3.17 and NZX (NZX: NZX ) rose 1c to $2.16.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) eased 8c to $2.97, Rakon (NZX: RAK ) eased 3c to $1.09 and OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) eased 8c to $3.60. Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) eased 2c to $2.20.5 and Infratil (NZX: IFT ) eased 1c to $1.92. Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) eased 1c to $5.82. Cavalier Carpets (NZX: CAV ) eased 2c to $3.60.

In the US on Friday (local time), stocks started a traditionally healthy month on strong footing.

Strong job growth and supportive comments on Federal Reserve policy from influential New York Fed Bank President William Dudley helped the market, but investors are looking to forthcoming earnings to kick the rally into a higher gear.

The Dow Jones industrial average hit 12,419.71 - its highest intraday level going back to June 2008 - before closing up 0.5% at 12,376.72, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.5% to 1332.41, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% to 2789.60.

For the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the S&P added 1.4% and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%.

April is the best month for the Dow industrials going back to 1950, with an average gain of 2%, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.



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