Wellington, Sept 1 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket was down in early trading, after a sharp sell-off in Chinese stocks dragged down equity markets around the world.
Around 10.15am the benchmark NZSX-50 index was down 11.21 points to 3086.79, having fallen 11.3 points yesterday.
Stocks falling early included Contact Energy, down 5c to 620, Freightways down 3c to 298, Mainfreight lost 5c to 505, NZ Refining Co dropped 4c to 512, Port of Tauranga was down 6c to 654, Restaurant Brands lost 3c to 100, Steel & Tube was down 5c to 345, and Trustpower lost 3c to 757.
Among few stocks to gain early, Fletcher Building added 3c to 789, and Dorchester Pacific added 3.7c to 10c after news the former owners of Vodka company 42 Below had picked up a 19.47 percent stake in Dorchester for $400,000.
In the United States, stocks fell as concerns about the global economy's health weighed on Wall Street following the sell-off in Chinese equities.
Energy shares led the decline, while oil slipped below $US70 a barrel on increased worries about global energy demand.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell nearly 7 percent to a three-month low on fears that China's government is trying to moderate economic growth and choke off speculation in its stock market by tightening bank lending.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.5 percent to end at 9496.28, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 0.8 percent to 1020.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1 percent to close at 2009.06.
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