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NZ Sharemarket Edges Down In Early Trading

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 25 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket drifted south in early trading today as the fallout from two days of falls on Wall Street continued to affect the global market.

The benchmark NZX-50 index was down 9.90 points, or 0.311 percent, at 3180.522 around 10.15am.

Banker ANZ slipped 100 to 2750 to illustrate the uncertainty in financial markets and was joined in negative territory by Michael Hill down 2c to 68, NZ Refining down 5c to 385, Guinness Peat Group downl 1c to 88 and Tourism Holdings was also down 1c to 89.

Among stocks to rise, Pike River Coal edged back some of its decline on Friday to be up 2c to 103, Hellaby Holdings added 3c to 169 and NZ Oil and Gas also lifted 3c to 163.

On a morning impacted by the Wellington Anniversary holiday, top stock Telecom was up 1c to 242, Contact Energy was unchanged on 600 and Fletcher Building was down 7c to 790.

In other market news a trading halt was placed on securities of Pan Pacific Petroleum pending a material announcement.

The negative start to the week comes after Wall Street closed last week with a second day of heavy falls. It came after US President Barack Obama outlined plans to limit the risk-taking of banks and was intensified on Friday with uncertainty over the pending confirmation vote for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term.

In addition, the election victory earlier in the week of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts for the US Senate seat of the late Edward Kennedy, costing Democrats their sure-fire majority, also added to the sense of uncertainty.

"Between uncertainty over Bernanke, Obama's bank regulation proposal and the election in Massachusetts, the market is like a cork in the water and the Democrats just hit the flush," Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago told Reuters.

The Dow fell 216.90 points, or 2.09 percent, to 10,172.98 while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell slid 24.72 points, or 2.21 percent, to 1,091.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 60.41 points, or 2.67 percent, to 2,205.29.

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