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NZ sharemarket continues losses

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 20 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket slipped slightly on opening today, continuing its week of losses.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed yesterday down 29.8 points, or 0.946 percent. It was wavering between gaining and losing ground this morning and about 10.20am it was down 1.465 points, or 0.05 percent, to 3120.410.

Kiwi Income Property Trust, which this morning announced a $12.4 million full year loss, compared with a net loss of $169m last year, was down 1c to 95.

Other negative stocks included Nuplex, down 7c to 306, Westpac down 50c to $29.10 and Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, slipping 4c to 336.

Property for Industry was down 1c to 112, Cavalier slid 2c to 246 and Methven shed 1c to 156.

Infratil was down 1c to 166, Freightways lost 1c to 314 and Fletcher Building dipped 2c to 810.

Improving stocks were NZ Refining, up 8c to 340, Michael Hill International 1c to 71, Telecom 2c to 207, Auckland Airport 1c to 193, Ryman Healthcare 1c to 215 and Contact Energy 2c to 603.

Meanwhile, in overseas markets US stocks fell yesterday as Germany's unilateral action to ban specific trades on some stocks and bonds sparked a fresh wave of uncertainty and risk aversion among anxious investors.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 66.58 points, or 0.63 percent, to 10,444.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5.75 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1115.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 18.89 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,298.37.

European stocks hit their lowest closing level in nearly two weeks, dragged down by banking shares, as investors became jittery following Germany's move to ban naked short sales of a range of financial assets.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 2.9 percent lower at 996.38 points. It fell below 1000 for the first time since a 750 billion euro ($NZ1.38 trillion) package aimed at preventing the Greek debt crisis from spreading was unveiled this month.

Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.5 percent to a nearly three-month closing low as worries about tighter US and German financial rules rattled markets, spurring selling in the euro and other riskier assets.

The Nikkei lost 55.80 points to 10,186.84 after earlier falling nearly 2 percent to 10,041.93, the lowest since mid-February and well below its 200-day moving average of around 10,350.

Australian shares dropped 1.9 percent to an eight-month low, with investors fleeing from risky assets as sentiment took a hit on worries about further financial regulation.

The S&P/ASX 200 fell 83.6 points to 4387.1, breaking through support at the May 7 low of 4427 to reach its lowest level since August 21, 2009.

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