June 7, 2020 / 11:16 PM / 2 months ago

New Zealand shares hit near 3-month high on economic recovery hopes

* NZ benchmark index hits near three-month high

* Technology and industrial stocks lead gains

* Australia closed for a holiday

By Pranav A K

June 8 (Reuters) - New Zealand shares climbed to their highest level in nearly three months on Monday as an unexpected jump in U.S. employment raised hopes of a quicker global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 2.5 million people were newly employed in the United States last month, following a record plunge of over 20 million in April.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 1.9% or 207.1 points to 11,378.77, at 1056 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.5% lower on Friday.

The closure of Australian financial markets for a holiday kept volumes to just about a fifth of the 30-day average.

National carrier Air New Zealand jumped 10.3% to its highest since March 12 after saying it aims to return to “healthy profits” by 2022 despite warning of further job losses.

Movie software maker Vista Group was the top percentage gainer on the index, surging 13%, while adventure goods retailer Kathmandu Holdings Ltd added 12.3% in its fifth straight session of gain.

Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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