Shares on the rise in early trading

Last updated 11:08 04/02/2013

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New Zealand shares rose in early trading, taking a lead from the United States where investors have piled into stocks as the US sharemarket hovers near record highs.

The NZX 50 Index rose 5.51 points, or 0.13 per cent to 4251.45 at 10.30am up from 4247.95 at 5pm Friday; 19 stocks rose and 8 fell.

The share market rise comes after New Zealand stocks reached a six-year high at the end of January before coming off the boil slightly before the close of business on Friday.

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US84.53 cents, up from US84.07c at 5pm on Friday, while on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it was unchanged at 75.80.

Individual investors in the United States rushed into stocks and bonds in January as signs of improvement in the United States economy and a rising stock market last week pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 14,000 for the first time since 2007, prompting Americans to boost their investments.

United States stocks rallied for a fifth week last week, as data showing improvement in the labour market and better-than- estimated earnings sent benchmark indexes toward record highs.

The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.7 per cent to 1513.17 last week, taking it up 6.1 percent for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 113.81 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 14,009.79 to close above 14,000 for the first time since 2007 - 1.1 per cent below October 2007's all-time high.

Locally, Summerset Group Holdings, the healthcare facilities and services firm, led the gainers, rising 1.63 per cent to $2.50. Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch rose 1.46 per cent to $1.39

Ebos, the medical and pharmaceutical products company, rose 1.18 per cent to $8.60 in early trading.

Warehouse Group, the country's biggest listed retailer fell 0.9 per cent to $3.32, leading the decliners.

Retirement village operator Metlifecare fell 0.62 per cent to $3.21.

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