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NZ sharemarket falls early

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 26 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket fell in early trading, with retailer Hallenstein Glasson retreating further, despite reporting a profit surge yesterday.

Around 10.20am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 4.59 points to 3232.96, after yesterday gaining 4.8 points.

Hallenstein Glasson was down 5c early to 335, on top of a 5c fall yesterday which came after the company reported its first half profit up 56 percent.

Other early falls included NZ Refining Co down 3c to 400, Sky City down 2c to 327, and Sky TV down 2c to 515.

Among leading shares, Telecom fell 1c to 213, Contact Energy slipped 1c to 611, and Fletcher Building was unchanged on 835. Property for Industry gained 2c to 119 and Abano Healthcare was up 4c to 522.

In the United States, stocks ended flat, dropping off earlier highs as a weak US bond auction and global debt concerns continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Indexes advanced for most of the session, with the Dow and S&P hitting fresh 18-month highs, but their gains mostly disappeared after the auction of seven-year notes and comments from European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet on issues surrounding Greece's sovereign debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.1 percent to end at 10,841.21, but the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.2 percent at 1165.73, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.1 percent at 2397.41.

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