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Sharemarket flat early

Thursday 7th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket was flat in early trading, after Finance Minister Bill English announced the Government would support residential insurer AMI.

The company is facing a funding shortfall as a result of claims from the Christchurch earthquakes.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 1.85 points to 3451.73, having closed down 19.5 points yesterday, which was the first fall in 16 days.

Restaurant Brands (RBD) rose 3c to $2.40 early after reporting a 26% rise in full year net profit.

NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) gained 5c to $4.70, Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) lifted 3c to $8.30, Scott Technology (NZX: SCT ) was up 2c to $1.44, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) lifted 2c to $3.45, and Sky City (NZX: SKC ) was up 2c to $3.44.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was unchanged early on $2.01 after falling 5c yesterday on heavy selling. At a telecommunications summit in Auckland yesterday, Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said new investment in the industry was drying up worldwide, with returns in telecommunications difficult to come by, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 1c to $9.33, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) lost 3c to $3.10, Steel & Tube (NZX: STU ) was down 3c to $2.72, and Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) dropped 2c to $7.43.

In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched forward on relatively light volume, with investors adding selectively to winning positions in technology, avoiding large bets ahead of earnings.

After days of struggling, the broader market index broke above the closely watched 1333 level.

It has now been nine trading days since the S&P 500 rose or fell more than 0.7%, a sign of relative calm amid few trading catalysts.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3% to close at 12,426.75. The S&P gained 0.2% to 1335.54, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3% to 2799.82.



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