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Leading Stocks Head Lower As NZ Sharemarket Falls Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 18 NZPA - Leading stocks continued to head lower after falls yesterday, as the New Zealand sharemarket slipped in early trade.

Fletcher Building shares were down 6c to 790 early, after dropping 4c yesterday, Contact Energy lost 4c to 590 after yesterday's 16c slide, and Telecom eased 2c to 250 on top of a 4c fall yesterday.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 7.44 points to 3124.08, after a 42.5-point drop yesterday.

Among other early movements today, Sky TV was down 2c to 492, while Infratil lifted 1c to 152 having eased 3c yesterday after reporting a half year loss of $31.4 million, affected by asset impairment and revaluation of financial instruments.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up 2c to 304, and Allied Workforce gained 5c to 75.

Shares in rural services and finance group Allied Farmers were in a trading halt, ahead of a 10.30am press conference, amid speculation it is to merge with cash-strapped lender Hanover Finance.

In the United States, stocks rose to fresh 13-month highs as upbeat broker views on improving prospects for two Dow components offset disappointing holiday spending outlooks from Target and Home Depot.

Preliminary closing figures put the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.3 percent to 10,437.42, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.1 percent to 1110.32, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 2203.78.

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