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NZ Shares Down Early After Inauguration Day Plunge On Wall St

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 21 NZPA - New Zealand shares fell early, after equities in the United States plunged as bank stocks took a beating over profit worries.

Among leading stocks in this country Telecom was down 2c early to 240 and Fletcher Building fell 16c to 564.

Contact Energy lost another 6c to 660, having plunged 9 percent or 69c yesterday after announcing it expected underlying earnings after tax for the current financial year to be down 20 to 23 percent.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 15.67 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2693.82, after yesterday losing 38.5 points, or 1.4 percent.

In the US, Wall Street ushered in the Barack Obama presidency with a record Inauguration Day slide amid fresh signs the global bank crisis is far from over.

An index of bank stocks lost 19.7 percent on fears of more losses.

Preliminary figures put the fall on the Dow Jones industrial average at 4 percent, taking it to below 8000 for the first time in two months. The S&P 500 Index slid 5.3 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 5.8 percent.

Among other stocks in this country to fall early, The Warehouse was down 7c to 364, NZX lost 5c to 525, and Nuplex slipped 4c to 304.

The few stocks to gain early included Sky TV, up 6c to 395, and carpet maker Cavalier Corp, which lifted 2c to 194.

Among dual-listed stocks, ANZ was down 18c to 1682, and Westpac dropped 10c to 1890.

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