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NZ Sharemarket Falls Early

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 4 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket fell in early trading, as shares in NZ Refining Co slipped further.

Yesterday it was announced that the NZ Superannuation Fund and Infratil are negotiating with Shell over possibly buying Shell New Zealand's refining, and distribution and retailing businesses. That includes a 17.1 percent stake in the refining company.

After the announcement, NZ Refining Co shares fell 9c yesterday, while early today they declined a further 9c, or 1.8 percent, to 502.

Shares in Contact Energy were also down 9c, to 601, but on limited volume.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 12 points to 3146.99, a four-week low, having already lost 56.7 points in the first two trading days of November.

Fletcher Building was down 8c to 803, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare lost 3c to 305, Sky TV fell 3c to 475, Port of Tauranga slipped 2c to 700, and Tower was down 2c to 170.

Shares rising early included Tourism Holdings up 2c to 72, and Michael Hill International up 2c to 66.

In the United States, the Dow dipped while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose slightly as a Morgan Stanley downgrade of semiconductors weighed on the sector, while deal news bolstered views that merger activity was picking up.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp in a deal that values the railroad company at $US34 billion ($NZ47.8b).

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1 percent at 9780.75, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.4 percent at 1045.77, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.2 percent at 2052.69.

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