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NZ shares start firmly

Thursday 13th January 2011

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New Zealand shares rose firmly in early trading after stocks gained in Europe and the US following a successful bond auction in Portugal that eased worries about Europe's debt crisis.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 9.36 points to 3343.95, having got to 3344.4 a few minutes earlier, the highest level in nine months. Yesterday the index gained 4.8 points.

Among the top shares, Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) added 3c to $7.90, Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was up 4c to $6.28, and Telecom (NZX: TEL ) was unchanged on $2.21.

Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) shares were up 5c to $2.67, NZX (NZX: NZX ) added 5c to $1.63, Ebos (NZX: EBO ) gained 5c to $7.38, The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was up 2c to $3.53, Ryman Healthcare (NZX: RYM ) lifted 2c to $2.33, NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) added 2c to $4.44, and Hellaby Holdings (NZX: HBY ) lifted 6c to $2.25.

Michael Hill (NZX: MHI ) was up 1c to 89 after saying it expected first half earnings before interest and tax to rise to between $32 million and $34 million, from $30.3 million a year earlier. Same store sales for the period were up 9.8%.

In the US, stocks ended solidly higher, driven by gains in banks and commodity-related shares, with further flows into equities on speculation the economy will strengthen.

Based on preliminary data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.7% at 11,755.44, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.9% at 1285.91, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.8% at 2737.33.

Other good news overnight included data showing the fastest pace of economic growth in Germany since unification in 1991 - 3.6% in 2010 after a contraction of 4.7% in 2009.



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