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Sharemarket flat early

Friday 29th April 2011

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Resins manufacturer Nuplex was an early highlight on the New Zealand sharemarket, which was flat in early trading despite solid gains on markets in the United States overnight.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 2.57 points to 3501.2, having reached its highest level in nearly three years yesterday with an intraday high 3510, before ending the day with an 11.7-point gain.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) gained 5c early to a seven-week high $3.22, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) lifted 4c to $9.29, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) gained 2c to $5.87 after yesterday announcing a rights issue at $5.05 to raise $350 million, and Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 4c to $9.20.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) shares fell 2.5c early to $2.16, Hallenstein Glasson (NZX: HLG ) was down 2c to $3.90, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ) was down 2c to $3.11.

In the US, earnings reports eased the blow from a batch of soft economic data showing US economic growth had slowed and the labour market may be weakening.

But the US Federal Reserve has maintained support for its easy monetary policy, which has helped push up equity prices in the face of increasing inflation.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6% to 12,763.31, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.4% to 1360.48, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1% to 2872.53.



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