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Fresh gains in Fletcher Building drive sharemarket


Solid gains by blue chip stocks, including a fresh three-year high for Fletcher Building, drove the New Zealand sharemarket higher.

NZPA
Tue, 05 Apr 2011

Solid gains by blue chip stocks, including a fresh three-year high for Fletcher Building, drove the New Zealand sharemarket higher today but progress was held in check by light volumes and little in the way of corporate news.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 9.9 points, or 0.3%, at 3469.38.

"At the moment, it's had a relatively good run as have some of the other markets, and it looks to me to be taking a bit of a breather until its next move," said David Price of Forsyth Barr.

Fletcher Building gained a further 8c to close at 941. The company has been on the rise with the $1.3 billion deal to buy Australia's Crane Group, transforming it into the largest building materials business in Australian and New Zealand.

The stock's inclusion in the S&P/ASX 200 Index last month has also attracted more heavy-weight investors.

Among other top stocks, Contact Energy lost 3c to 579, Telecom was down 0.5c at 206, casino company Sky City rose 4c to 347, Sky TV gained 7c to 577 and Fisher&Paykel Healthcare was up 2c at 319.

Trustpower was up 2c at 720 while its parent Infratil was steady at 192.

Vector gained 4c to 263, Steel&Tube gained 6c to 277, Mainfreight jumped 15c to record high 909 and Ebos Group gained 5c to 765.

NZOG was flat at 95c as the Royal Commission preliminary hearing opened in Greymouth today. NZOG has a 29 percent shareholding in Pike River, the West Coast coal mine where an explosion last November killed 29 men.

On the decline were financial services stock Tower, down 5c at 185, Pumpkin Patch, down 4c at 129, and NZ Refining, down 3c at 479.

The market did not react to the release of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's quarterly business survey, which showed a decline in sentiment after Christchurch's devastating earthquake but was not as bad as it could have been, Mr Price said.

"The expectation is that, we've got a strong currency and weakish demand, that we're still going to be in for challenging times," Mr Price said.

Across the Tasman, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.2% at 4898.5 following a no-change to interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

NZPA
Tue, 05 Apr 2011
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Fresh gains in Fletcher Building drive sharemarket
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