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Strong start for NZ sharemarket


Wednesday 24th August 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket rose strongly in early trade, following a 3 percent surge in stocks in the United States.

Investors are speculating Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will this week signal new help for the economy, giving investors hope a four-week rout was nearing an end.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 41.58 points or 1.27 percent to 3311.16, having yesterday ended down 4.9 points.

Fletcher Building gained 15c to 793, Nuplex added 11c to 260, Tower was up 6c to 153, Sky TV lifted 6c to 568, Contact Energy was up 6c to 528, Vector lifted 6c to 245, Telecom was up 4c to 273, Ryman lifted 4c to 259, NZX added 4c to 259, and Freightways was up 4c to 324.

NZ Oil and Gas edged up 1c to 63, after the company reported a full year net loss of $75.9 million, including provisions and losses of $98.8 million related to the Pike River Coal mine disaster.

In the US, technology and other growth stocks drove much of the gains.

Weak data in housing and regional factory activity triggered the latest round of bets that Mr Bernanke will act, even though the Fed's options appear limited.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 3 percent at 11,176.76, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.4 percent at 1162.35, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.3 percent at 2446.06.

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