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NZ Sharemarket Slips Early

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 14 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket slipped in early trading as leading stock Fletcher Building continued its decline of recent days, falling back to levels of a month ago.

Fletcher Building shares were down 3c early to 797, following a 15c fall yesterday and after having topped 850 at the start of October.

Another leading share, Contact Energy, was also down early, but its share price has generally trended upwards since slipping below 570 in late September.

A few minutes after the market opened, Contact was down 2c to 603.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 2.57 points to 3166.9, having slipped 9.4 points yesterday.

Other shares to slip early today included Sanford, down 5c to 490, NZ Refining Co down 4c to 496, and The Warehouse down 2c to 443.

Stocks gaining early included NZX, up 3c to 813, and NZ Oil & Gas up 3c to 172, while Telecom was unchanged on 257.

In the United States, stocks weakened as disappointing sales from Johnson & Johnson stirred jitters about the strength of earnings, snapping the S&P 500's six-day winning streak.

While J&J's third-quarter profit topped forecasts, that was largely because of cost cuts and lower taxes. The result also pushed European stocks lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 0.2 percent to end at 9871.06, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 1073.19, although the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up just 0.04 percent to 2139.89.

But after-hours results from Intel could bode well for the next US session after the computer chip maker reported earnings and revenue that surpassed expectations.

Further weakness in the US dollar, which slipped to a 14-month low, pushed gold to a record peak and helped lift oil to a seven-week high on worries that US interest rates would remain at rock-bottom lows for some time.

Silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium also rallied to multi-month highs as the slumping US dollar fuelled a surge in precious metals.

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