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NZ Sharemarket Falls Early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 9 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket dropped in early trading, with Contact Energy down 5c as it remained stuck in a narrow range after falling from a four-month high in early January.

In the first few minutes after trading started today, Contact Energy shares dropped to 578, having fallen from a peak of 636 during the past month.

Fletcher Building shares fell 2c initially to 248 -- their lowest level in around 5-1/2-months -- but was soon back to be unchanged for the day at 250.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 8.6 points to 3084.85, its lowest level in more than two months and not far from a five-month low. Yesterday the index fell 11.5 points.

Other shares falling early included Hellaby Holdings, down 5c to 160, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare down 4c to 331, NZ Refining Co down 4c to 362, Trustpower down 4c to 730, and Freightways down 3c to 325.

Early gains were chalked up by Port of Tauranga, lifting 5c to 710, and Property for Industry up 2c to 114 -- but both were on low volumes.

In the United States, the Dow industrials closed below 10,000 for the first time since November as investors sold bank shares due to heightened concerns about the euro zone's sovereign debt troubles.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 1 percent at 9908.39, according to latest available figures, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 0.9 percent at 1056.75, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.7 percent at 2126.05.

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