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NZ sharemarket slips early

Monday 4th April 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket recorded a modest drop in the first few minutes of trading for the new week, as key stock Fletcher Building eased back.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 4.03 points to 3448.11, after gaining 12.3 points on Friday when the index hit a 31-month intraday high around 3454.5.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) shares, which hit a three-year high $9.38 last Thursday, slipped 2c early today to $9.32, with Sky City (NZX: SKC ), also down 2c, to $3.40, Infratil (NZX: IFT ) down 2c to $1.91, Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) down 2c to $3.03, and Telecom (NZX: TEL ) edging down 0.5c to $2.04.

Steel & Tube (NZX: STU ) gained 6c to $2.71, NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) added 5c to $4.85, Ebos Group (NZX: EBO ) was up 3c to $7.59, Abano Healthcare (NZX: ABA ) lifted 3c to $4.55, Pumpkin Patch (NZX: PPL ) was up 2c to $1.35, and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) lifted 2c to $5.85.

In the US on Friday (local time), stocks started a traditionally healthy month on strong footing.

Strong job growth and supportive comments on Federal Reserve policy from influential New York Fed Bank President William Dudley helped the market, but investors are looking to forthcoming earnings to kick the rally into a higher gear.

The Dow Jones industrial average hit 12,419.71 - its highest intraday level going back to June 2008 - before closing up 0.5% at 12,376.72, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.5% to 1332.41, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% to 2789.60.

For the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the S&P added 1.4% and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%.

April is the best month for the Dow industrials going back to 1950, with an average gain of 2%, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.



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