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NZ sharemarket opens low

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 19 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket opened lower this morning as global markets were rattled by Germany's announcement to ban "naked short-selling", and continue to worry over the global economic recovery.

At around 10.30am, the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 9.08 points, or 0.29 percent, at 3149.59 with a large number of stocks in the negative, compared to those improving.

Fletcher Building fell 1c to 815, Contact Energy was down 4c to 606, and TrustPower opened flat at 721.

Ryman Healthcare was up 3c to 217 after reporting a realised profit of $61 million for the year today, up 16 percent from last year.

Top-10 company Infratil was up 1c to 168. It reported a positive annual result yesterday, and forecast increased earnings.

The infrastructure investor posted a $29 million net profit after last year's $191 million loss, and said its new 50-percent stake in Shell NZ's fuels business would significantly boost earnings.

Telecom shares were down 1c to 206, Auckland Airport lost 1c to 196, and Port of Tauranga fell 4c 681.

The Warehouse fell 1c to 348 after sliding 6c yesterday as it reported a nearly 2-percent drop in third-quarter sales.

Sky City fell 3c to 293 and Sky TV also lost 2c, to 472.

Among the handful of stocks to post gains, Steel and Tube Holdings gained 4c to 255 and Property For Industry Limited was up 1c to 115.

Germany said it plans to ban naked short-selling in the country's 10 most important financial institutions. In naked short selling, a trader sells a financial instrument short, betting that its price will fall, without first borrowing the instrument or ensuring that it can be borrowed, as would be done in a conventional short sale.

In the United States, the market sank on Tuesday, driven lower as the strengthening of financial regulation from Wall Street to Frankfurt crushed bank stocks, adding worries about the sustainability of the global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 114.88 points, or 1.08 percent, to 10,510.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 16.14 points, or 1.42 percent, to 1,120.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 36.97 points, or 1.57 percent, to 2,317.26.

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