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NZ sharemarket edges up early

Wednesday 9th February 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket rose modestly in early trade, after the market yesterday retreated from a 29-month high.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 1.69 points to 3384.87, having yesterday slipped 4.2 points as investors wait for the results season to get under way.

Fishing company Sanford (NZX: SAN ) rose 5c early to $5.00 but on small volume, while Methven (NZX: MVN ) gained 4c to $1.64, and Freightways (NZX: FRE ) gained 2c to $3.28.

Among leading stocks, Telecom (NZX: TEL ) edged up 1c to $2.19, Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) slipped 1c to $8.21, and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) was unchanged on $6.32.

Steel & Tube (NZX: STU ) lost 3c to $2.27 early, Comvita (NZX: CVT ) lost 2c to $1.50, and NZ Refining Co (NZX: NZR ) dropped 4c to $4.92.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average closed its seventh straight day of gains after McDonald's surprisingly strong sales drove confidence in the economic recovery. Light volume, however, called the rally's strength into question.

Energy share weakness limited gains in the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq Composite index after China, the world's second biggest energy consumer, raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks. The rate hike pressured commodities on fears of lower demand, but had little market impact outside that sector.

On preliminary figures, the Dow Jones gained 0.6% to 12,233.15, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 1324.57, and the Nasdaq gained 0.5% to 2797.05.

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