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NZ Sharemarket rises early


Friday 20th May 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket continued its upward trajectory in early trading, as exchange operator NZX's own shares pushed up to a 17-month high after yesterday's budget confirmed plans to sell stakes in state-owned enterprises

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 4.4 points to 3573.4, having topped 3574 a few minutes earlier, its highest level in three years.

NZX (NZX: NZX ) was up 4c to $2.46, while Ryman Healthcare(NZX: RYM ) gained 5c to a four-year high $2.73 on top of a 6c gain yesterday after the aged care and retirement village operator announced a 17% rise in full year underlying profit to $72 million.

Vector(NZX: VCT ) was up 2c early to $2.52, Sky TV(NZX: SKT ) lifted 2c to $5.75, and Auckland Airport(NZX: AIA ) added $2c to $2.32.

Among leading shares, Telecom(NZX: TEL ) edged up 1c to $2.34, Contact Energy(NZX: CEN ) lost 2c to $6.00, and Fletcher Building(NZX: FBU ) was unchanged on $9.11.

OceanaGold(NZX: OGC ) lost 5c to $3.07 after gold and silver prices fell as weak housing and manufacturing data in the United States and uncertainty about the end of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying programme dragged down commodities across the board.

In the US, the biggest internet initial public offering since Google combined with a drop in oil prices to send the broad stock market higher.

Shares of social networking company LinkedIn jumped 109% to US$94.25 on the first day they began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The debut is seen as a preview of other social networking sites that are expected to start trading during the next year.

"LinkedIn represents the first opportunity for the average investor to participate in what looks like a lasting, powerful trend of social media," said Lawrence Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. "They're frothy with excitement, and that's being imputed into the share price."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4% to close at 12,605.32, the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.2% to 1343.60, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.3% to 2823.31.

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