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MARKET CLOSE: Sharemarket makes up ground ahead of holidays

Tuesday 21st December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket built on early gains in a pre-holiday session featuring little in the way of corporate news.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 19.14 points, or 0.6%, at 3319.10 following yesterday's 25-point fall.

Blue chip Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) held on to its initial 4c gain to close at $7.70, after no reaction yesterday when Crane Group directors rejected its offer.

Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) jumped 10c to $6.24 to make up all of yesterday's losses which were incurred on the back of rain across the country thought likely to bring wholesale electricity prices down.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) rose 2c to $2.23, Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) was a cent higher at $2.17, Fisher & Paykel Appliances (NZX: FPA ) gained 3c to 54, Sky TV (NZX: SKT ) was 4c higher at $5.27 and casino operator Sky City (NZX: SKC ) was up 4c at $3.33.

During the busiest time of year for retailers, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) jumped 7c to $3.65, children's clothing company Pumpkin Patch (NZX: PPL ) rose 8c to $1.67, outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu (NZX: KMD ) was up 5c at $1.78 but Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) lost a cent to $4.09.

Jeweller Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) subject to a partial takeover bid from the Hill family, was a cent higher at 88.

Durante Holdings was offering 90c per share to buy 5% of the shares it does not already own, taking its holding to 50.2%.

Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) was unchanged at $1.49 after Transport Minister Steven Joyce gave the green light today to the proposed trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Blue.

Fast food franchiser Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) was up 6c at $2.72.

On the decline, Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) lost 2c to $4.85 after a fall in interim profit, Guinness Peat Group (NZX: GPG ) fell a cent to 70, Rakon (NZX: RAK ) fell 3c to $1.17 and Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) lost 7c to $7.95.

Across the Tasman, Australia's S&P/ASX-200 Index was up 0.8% at 4774, while Japan's Nikkei share average was up 1.3%.

Earlier in the US, gains in energy shares pushed stocks higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 hit a two-year high as equities continued their steady upward march.

 

NZPA



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