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Sharemarket rises as Telecom gains

Monday 13th December 2010

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the week well, as key stock Telecom rose after being short listed for priority negotiations over much of the country as part of the Government's ultra-fast broadband initiative.

Soon after the market opened Telecom (NZX: TEL ) shares were up 6c to 214. On Friday brokers said about 69.8 million Telecom shares were traded in crosses, or off market, with only around a million on market. It was thought the large size may reflect a portfolio change by an international investor.

Around 10.20am, the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 18.49 points to 3291.41. On Friday the NZX-50 had lost 7.6 points.

Shares in NZ Oil & Gas (NZX: NZO ) were put on a trading halt before the market opened, pending a material announcement by the company, which has a 29% stake in Pike River Coal. Pike shares were suspended last month after the explosion at its West Coast mine.

Among other leading shares, Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 3c early to 785, while Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) gained 2c to 617.

Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) was up 6c to 773, and Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) lifted 5c to 740, Sky TV (NZX: SKT ) added 4c to 515, and The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was up 3c to 378, all on low volume.

In the US, stocks rose on Friday (local time), with the Standard & Poor's 500 at its highest level since the week Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, and breaching technical levels that suggest the year-end rally will persist.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.4 percent to 11,410.32, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent to 1240.40, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8 percent to 2637.54.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.2%, the S&P 500 was up 1.3% and the Nasdaq added 1.8%.



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