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Sharemarket makes modest early gains

Monday 30th May 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket made modest gains in the first few minutes of the new week, with key stocks Telecom and Fletcher Building both showing small rises.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 6.61 points to 3534.57, after edging 0.4 points higher on Friday.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was up 2c early to $8.86, while Telecom (NZX: TEL ) added 1.5c to $2.38.5, having lost 6c on Friday after Standard & Poor's reaffirmed its rating but said it could be cut by one or two notches if shareholders approve the separation of its network business from the rest of the company.

Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) gained 4c to another record high at $9.95, following a stunning 47c rise on Friday as investors reacted well to the company's profit result which was delivered on Thursday.

Methven (NZX: MVN ) shares were unchanged on $1.41, after the company reported full year net profit fell 39% taking into account the loss of a key British customer.

Pyne Gould Corp (NZX: PGC ) shares fell 77.9c to 34 after the completion of the distribution of shares in merged financial services group Building Society Holdings to PGC shareholders.

PGC distributed to its shareholders all the shares it held in BSH - to be renamed Heartland New Zealand from Wednesday - and cancelled 73.2% of each PGC shareholder's holding in PGC. BSH (NZX: BSH ) shares slipped 1c to 78.

OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) gained 7c to $3.42, Trustpower (NZX: TPW ) was up 7c to $7.42, Tower (NZX: TWR ) lifted 4c to 41.80, NZX (NZX: NZX ) added 4c to $2.54, and Kathmandu (NZX: KMD ) lifted 3c to $2.30.

Shares losing ground early included Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) down 4c to $7.20, and Freightways (NZX: FRE ) down 2c to $3.28.

In the US, stocks received some help on Friday (local time) from a weaker greenback boosting metals prices and basic materials stocks.

Desks were short-staffed before the Memorial Day holiday that will keep US markets closed on Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.3% to 12,441.58, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.4% to 1331.10, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5% to 2796.86.

For the week, the Dow lost 0.6%, the S&P shed 0.2% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2%.



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