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NZ sharemarket starts week in decline

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 23 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket started the week in decline, with key stock Telecom falling further away from the three-month high reached on Thursday.

After peaking at 211 on Thursday, Telecom shares eased to close at 203 on Friday after the company reported a 4.5 percent fall in its bottom line net profit to $380 million, with revenue down 6.5 percent to $5.27 billion. In early trade today, Telecom shares fell a further 4c to 199.

Among other top stocks, Fletcher Building shares were down 5c in the first few minutes after the market opened to 725, but recovered to be unchanged at 730. Contact Energy shares lost 3c to 575.

With investors chewing over inconclusive election results across the Tasman, the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 9.86 points to 2990.54 around 10.20am today, having closed down 29.4 points on Friday as New Zealand followed the lead of weak offshore markets

Port of Tauranga dropped 4c to 670, NZ Oil & Gas was down 2c to 119, Steel & Tube dropped 2c to 220, and Restaurant Brands fell 2c to 248.

The dual-listed banks had contrasting fortunes early with ANZ down 50c to 2800 and Westpac up 16c to 2851.

In the United States, stocks fell for a second straight week on persistent concerns the recovery has tapered off.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.6 percent to 10,213.62, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was off 0.4 percent to 1071.69, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.04 percent to 2179.76.

For the week, the S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent, the Dow slipped 0.9 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent. It was the second week of declines for the S&P and the Dow.

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