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NZ sharemarket starts week strongly


Monday 15th August 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket opened the new week strongly, after stocks in the United States ended higher on Friday (local time), which raised some hopes the worst of the selling may be over.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 24.4 points, or 0.76 percent, to 3240.9, after ending down 7.9 points on Friday.

Fletcher Building was up 11c to 773, Mainfreight added 10c to 1015, Sky City lifted 5c to 345, Restaurant Brands gained 5c to 240, Ebos Group was up 5c to 670, Contact Energy lifted 5c to 500, Steel & Tube added 4c to 252, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare lifted 4c to 228, and Telecom added 3c to 248.

OceanaGold fell 9c to 256 early and Sky TV dropped 4c to 571.

The higher ending to last week for US stocks came after one of the most volatile weeks in memory.

Volume was much lighter than on any other day of the week and intraday swings were far less violent than in previous days. Both signs suggested a drop in investor anxiety.

Still, the market was down for the week and posted its worst three-week decline since March 2009 when it hit 12-year lows.

US markets got support on Friday from a 3.6 percent rise in European shares. A short-selling ban on financial shares by France, Italy, Spain and Belgium eased fears over recent sharp declines.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.1 percent to 11,269.02, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.5 percent to 1178.81, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.6 percent to 2507.98.

For the week, the Dow fell 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq lost 1 percent. The S&P 500 fell on 11 of the past 15 days, dropping 12.4 percent in three weeks.

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