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NZX starts day firmly

Wednesday 11th May 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the day firmly, after stocks in the United States rose for a third day as investors bet on profit growth and set aside concerns about weakening demand.

The benchmark NZX-50 index is at its highest level in nearly three years, and around 10.20am was up 14.85 points to 3543.59.

Ryman Healthcare (NZX: RYM ) gained 4c early to $2.63, NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) was up 4c to $4.59, Telecom (NZX: TEL ) added 3c to $2.27, Sky City (NZX: SKC ) was up 3c to $3.74, Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) lifted 3c to $4.53, and Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 2c to $9.00.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) fell 8c to $3.22, Trustpower (NZX: TPW ) was down 2c to $7.53, and The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) lost 2c to $3.69, while Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was unchanged on $6.00.

In the US, the rise in stocks was led by utilities and other defensive sectors that may drive further gains.

For now the equity market is filtering out potential problems involving euro-zone debt and speculation that the recent selloff in commodities is a harbinger of weak economic growth.

Helping to support the market was news of a trade surplus in China, which eased fears about slow global growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.6% at 12,760.36, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.8% at 1357.16, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1% at 2871.89.



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