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Sharemarket starts with firm gains

Thursday 21st April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the day with firm gains, in the wake of sharp rises by major stock markets after strong corporate earnings in both the United States and Europe.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 16.9 points to 3489.7, its highest level since June 2008, having yesterday gained 32.8 points.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 12c to $9.20, Port of Tauranga (NZX: POT ) added 9c to $8.49, Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) lifted 7c to $9.32, Sky TV (NZX: SKT ) was up 6c to $5.85, Sky City (NZX: SKC ) lifted 5c to $3.47, Kathmandu (NZX: KMD ) was up 4c to $2.45, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) added 3c to $3.58, and Vector (NZX: VCT ) gained 3c to $2.42.

The small number of stocks falling early included two market leaders, with Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) down 2c to $5.79 and Telecom (NZX: TEL ) down 0.5c to $2.15. Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) fell 3c to $7.40.

World equities, as measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 2.1%, extending the previous session's 0.5% rise and further recovering from Monday's 1.6% loss.

In the US, earnings surprises gave a positive turn to investor sentiment, propelling US stocks to their best day in a month.

Investors had been set up for a series of disappointments but got an unexpected treat from blue chips Intel Corp and United Technologies Corp, sparking a broad-based rally that puts equities on the path for more gains in coming weeks.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.5% to 12,453.54, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.4% to 1330.36, and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.1% to 2802.51.

The Nasdaq posted its largest daily percentage gain since October while the Dow hit its highest close since early June 2008. The broad S&P 500 had its best performance in a month.



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