The New Zealand sharemarket posted solid gains today, helped by a recovery in Fletcher Building, and reflecting rises in offshore markets where investors are more confident about the global economic recovery.
The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 39.725 points, or 1.3%, at 3195.803. Turnover was worth $140.19 million. There were 61 rises and 16 falls among the 111 stocks traded.
James Snell, a broker at First NZ Capital, said the rise followed better markets offshore, which were driven by budget cuts in Spain, a better bond auction in Portugal and optimism that the new UK coalition government will reduce spending.
"The political story is helping sentiment," he said.
Fletcher Building rose 24c to 808. The stock had been a laggard in a recovering market yesterday and was catching up with a strong building sector in Australia.
"It looked like there was a reasonable seller in the stock but volume is bigger on the way up," Mr Snell said.
Contact Energy rose 2c to 616 even though its operating update revealed lower customer numbers. TrustPower rose 4c to 730.
Guinness Peat Group, under pressure since its annual meeting, rose 3c to 85.
AMP rose 21c to 756 as it held its annual meeting in Australia. Tower rose 2c to 194. APN News&Media rose 12c to 311.
Telecom rose 1c to 211, and remains close to its record low.
NZX rose 3c to 180, NZOG rose 3c to 153 and Goodman Fielder rose 3c to 181.
Others to firm included Sanford up 5c to 433, New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay 3c to 41, Steel&Tube 10c to 260, Infratil 1c to 168 and OceanaGold 32c to 380.
Falling stocks were Cavalier Carpets down 10c to 255, NZ Refining 7c to 348, The Warehouse 1c to 364, Scott Technology 3c to 117 and Turners and Growers 3c to 142.