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Firm start for NZ sharemarket

Friday 22nd July 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket started firmly, with key stock Telecom at a 21-month high.

The good opening trading came after stocks climbed in the United States as signs of progress on US debt talks and concrete action from Europe on its debt crisis heartened investors.

Telecom shares lifted 4c early to 264, while another key stock, Fletcher Building, was up 11c to 826 after reaching a 5-12-month low 792 at the start of the week.

Online accounting software firm Xero was up 6c to 230, after the company announced yesterday it had bought Melbourne online payroll startup Paycycle for $A1.5 million ($NZ1.9m).

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 14.77 points to 3436.11, after lifting 13 points yesterday.

Ebos Group rose 14c to 699, NZX lifted 7c to 240, Mainfreight was up 6c to 1028, and Trustpower added 3c to 720. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 5c to 252.

In the US, as well as progress on debt talks, unexpectedly robust earnings results from Morgan Stanley extended a relief rally in bank stocks after Goldman Sachs' dismal trading profits stunned the market earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.2 percent to 12,724.41, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.4 percent to 1343.80, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.7 percent to 2834.43.

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