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NZ Sharemarket Edges Down Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 24 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket edged down in early trading, despite a good start to Christmas Eve by several stocks.

Hellaby Holdings was up 10c, or 8.3 percent, early to 130, Mainfreight added 5c to 460, Nuplex added 7c to 295, and Auckland Airport rose 3c to 163.

The main drag the other way was a 7c fall by Fletcher Building to 590, after falling 13c yesterday.

Kiwi Income Property Trust was down 2c to 97 early, while Cavalier Corp was also down 2c, to 168.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 5.41 points to 2656.34, after falling 18 points yesterday.

In the United States, stocks fell in thin trading on further deterioration in the housing market, while worry over weak consumer spending weighed on retailers in the final stretch of the key Christmas shopping season.

General Motors fell hard for a second day as investors worried if last week's $US17.4 billion ($NZ31.1 billion) aid package from the US government will be enough to keep automakers from bankruptcy.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended provisionally down 1.2 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 1 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.7 percent.

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