The New Zealand sharemarket was firm today ahead of the long holiday weekend.

There was good volume in Pyne Gould Corp existing shares today with 3 million trading and the price ending at 44.

The company raised $30 million in a placement with institutions at 43c on Thursday. The ACC disclosed a 6.61 per cent stake in the company today and holdings by other institutions are expected to emerge as a result of the company's recent capital raisings.

Overall, the market edged ahead with gains across a broad range of stocks.

The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed up 13.238 points, or 0.413 per cent, at 3214.934. Turnover was worth $107.88 million. There were 56 rises and 24 falls among the 113 stocks traded.

"It's been a reasonable day across the board. New Zealand has probably lagged to some extent," said Adrian Vance, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

"Volume has been good on a couple of stocks."

Fletcher Building rose 10c to 842, Telecom rose 1c to 250, and Contact Energy rose 9c to 628.

Yesterday , Telecom fell 6c, Fletcher Building fell 8c, and Contact dropped 8c after holding its annual meeting.

NZ Refining Co rose 10c to 555, adding to a 15c gain yesterday.

Mainfreight was unchanged at 560. Toll Holdings of Australia announced the purchase of freight forwarders Express Logistics today.

Dual-listed Telstra fell 5c to 387.

SkyCity fell 5c to 339, after falling 2c yesterday when $18.7m worth of its shares traded.

Vector shares were up 1c to 201 after the company said that in line with expectations growth in overall connections fell in the first quarter, compared to a year earlier, and overall energy volumes were down.

Port of Tauranga fell 15c to 705 on light volume and Infratil fell 2c to 161.

Tower rose 3c to 171, Hellaby also rose 3c to 171 and Restaurant Brands rose 6c to 155.

Also up were Pike River Coal 1c to 115, TrustPower 5c to 755, Auckland Airport 1c to 200 and SkyTV 2c to 480.

There were 1.48 million Smartpay shares traded and the stock rose 0.3c to 4.8.

In the United States, stocks rose after several companies reported solid earnings that lent credence to the idea corporate profitability has stabilised.

Financials were among the top gainers after insurer Travelers Cos Inc raised its full-year outlook and New York Fed president William Dudley said the Federal Reserve may not lose money on the emergency programmes it put in place to fight the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.3 per cent to end at 10,081.31, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.1 per cent to 1092.91, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 14.56 0.7 per cent to 2165.29.

- NZPA