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NZ sharemarket drops 1.49 percent amid global rout

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 5 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket fell 1.492 percent today as a global equity market rout continued in this time zone.

On a day in which Westpac reported a rise in profit and said the New Zealand economy was turning around, investors fretted that a bailout for indebted Greece will fail to stop the debt crisis spreading to other weak euro zone countries.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 49.2 points at 3248.817. Turnover was worth $84.78 million, There were 10 rises and 76 falls among the 108 stocks traded.

Adrian Vance, director at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene, said weakness was across the board in the New Zealand market.

"Around the world we've seen a culmination of various issues and one of them is Greece," he said.

There was heavy trading and signs of panic in trading in large stocks in Australia but many were off their lows by the end of the day. New Zealand stocks mostly drifted lower on normal volumes.

May can be a difficult month in equity markets, as it is after the US reporting season and prior to the northern hemisphere summer holiday season. There was a market adage -- sell in May and go away.

The fall in New Zealand came after investors dumped stocks in Europe and the United States, where Wall Street had its worst session in three months, echoing a wave of fear that gripped financial markets.

Fletcher Building shares fell 14c to 826 on a day in which it was reported that Australian home-building approvals rose at the fastest pace since 2002.

Telecom fell 5c to 215 and the focus is turning to its interim result on Friday.

Contact Energy fell 8c to 621. TrustPower fell 5c to 730.

Westpac fell 160 to 3340 after reporting a 30 percent rise in profit.

Kathamndu fell 9c to 220 even though it maintained a profit forecast in an investor presentation.

PGG Wrightson fell 2c to 53 on a day in which the company thanked Alan McConnon, who has resigned as a director.

Nuplex fell 5c to 332, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 2c to 357, The Warehouse fell 5c to 370. Auckland Airport fell 1c to 199 and Air NZ fell 2c to 129. SkyCity fell 7c to 308.

Port of Tauranga rose 4c to 696, Hellaby rose 1c to 166 and Sanford rose 2c to 430.

Affco Holdings rose 1c to 38, Charlie's Group rose 0.4c to 9.2 and Wellington Drive Technologies rose 0.5c to 8.7.

In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average ended down 2 percent to 10,926.77, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 2.4 percent to 1173.60, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3 percent to 2424.25.

Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 was off 3 percent to 1033.18. Germany's DAX was down 2.6 percent, while Spain's IBEX 35 dropped 5.4 percent.

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