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NZ Sharemarket Down Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 28 NZPA - Shares in transport group Mainfreight fell 15c to 475 in early trading after the company reported full year net profit before abnormals of $40 million.

That was almost on a par with the previous year's record of $40.8m, and came on total revenue for the year to the end of March up 38.8 percent from the previous year to $1.27 billion.

The market was generally lower after stocks in the United States dropped as rising yields on US government debt fuelled concern that businesses and consumers could face higher borrowing costs, which could hamper an economic recovery.

As investors waited for the release of the National-led Government's first budget, the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 15.71 points to 2754.07 around 10.15am. Yesterday it gained 35.7 points, or 1.3 percent.

Among leading stocks, Telecom was down 7c to 254, Fletcher Building lost 3c to 637, and Contact Energy eased 2c to 163.

Other stocks falling early included Cavalier Corp, down 5c to 180, Infratil 2c to 163, NZ Farming Systems Uruguay 2c to 52, Sky City 2c to 283, and The Warehouse 2c to 368.

Methven, which yesterday reported a 3.1 percent rise in net profit to $10.1m, was up 7c to 143, on top of a 7c gain yesterday.

Other shares to lift early included Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, up 4c to 289.

F&P Appliances was up 4c to 107. Yesterday the stock gained 37c after the company said Chinese company Haier was to become its 20 percent shareholder and it will raise $143m from an underwritten one-for-one rights issue at 41c a share.

In the US, the decline was broad-based, while shares of General Motors Corp tumbled 20.1 percent as the automaker faced a failed debt exchange, setting the stage for a bankruptcy filing expected by the end of the month.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.1 percent to end at 8300.02, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.9 percent at 893.06, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.1 percent at 1731.08.


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