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NZ Shares Slide On Opening

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 5 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket slid lower on opening today, after a sharp overnight fall on Wall Street.

Having gone against international market trends yesterday and posted a gain, the benchmark NZX-50 index shed 5191 points or 1.65 percent to 3097.03 in the first 15 minutes of trading.

Of the heavyweight stocks, Telecom dropped 7c to 234, Contact Energy lost 9c to 575 and Fletcher Building shed 16c to 754.

An announcement of healthy increases in international and domestic passenger volumes in December could not stop Auckland Airport shares diving 6c to 190.

AMP NZ Office Trust, which yesterday reported a higher interim net profit and expressed concern that proposed tax changes would affect the commercial property sector, eased 2c to 72.

Nuplex, which announced the appointment of a new high-achieving chief executive yesterday, shed 6c to 320.

Other falls included Infratil down 3c to 160, NZ Oil and Gas 4c to 148, NZX 5c to 220, PGG Wrightson 2c to 60, The Warehouse 4c to 378, Tower 3c to 196, Ryman Healthcare 6c to 200 and Sky City 6c to 317.

There no rises among the top 50 stocks in early trading.

Reuters reported that Wall Street fell 2 percent as escalating sovereign debt problems in Europe and a surprise rise in US jobless claims sparked concerns about the health of the global economy.

The selloff was broad-based, but financial, energy and materials sectors were hit hardest as investors dumped stocks considered more risky.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 215.39 points, or 2.10 percent, at 10,055.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index sank 27.43 points, or 2.50 percent, at 1069.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 54.83 points, or 2.50 percent, at 2136.08.

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