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NZ stocks slip along with others on fragile recovery worries

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 24 NZPA - The New Zealand sharemarket slipped today as other markets weakened and investors fretted that the economic recovery is fragile.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 16.871 points, or 0.523 percent, at 3211.155.

James Lee, head of institutional equities at First NZ Capital, said the Australian market was also down around half a percent and building and materials stocks were weak in that market.

Fletcher Building fell 16c to 846 today but Steel and Tube rose a cent to 251.

Mr Lee said Fletcher Building and a number of stocks have had big rallies.

The New Zealand sharemarket overall was up for the year as of two days ago, having recovered 10 percent from its low. It was now down just slightly for the year.

Retailers have been a feature with several of them reporting this week.

Postie Plus Group was unchanged at 32c, after the apparel and nursery equipment retailer posted a 6.5 percent fall in annual pre-tax profit to $781,000, saying the result reflected flat consumer spending patterns.

Pumpkin Patch fell 2c to 191. On Wednesday it reported a 76 percent rise in profit.

Kathmandu rose 1c to 178 after reporting earnings today. The company, founded by Jan Cameron in 1987 arrived on the market last year when shares were sold at 213.

Mr Lee said the company had updated the market recently and spoke positively about prospects.

"In general the retailers have come in line with forecast but have had mixed outlook comments," Mr Lee said.

Air NZ eased a cent to 128 after giving little guidance at its annual meeting today.

Freightways was down 5c to 295, Cavalier Carpets was unchanged at 319, and NZX eased 2c to 158.

Telecom was unchanged on 203 and Contact Energy down 1c to 572.

APN News and Media rose 15c to 256 and Telstra rose 4c to 349/

Ebos rose 6c to 711 and Hellaby Holdings rose 16c to 204. SkyCity fell 5c to 289 and TrustPower fell 8c to 736.

In the US, stocks fell after a weak reading on the labour market dropped stocks through a key technical level, validating the worries of those who thought the recent rally was flimsy.

Major indexes were little changed for most of the day before the Standard & Poor's 500 broke below 1130, the high end of the summer's trading range. Investors had hoped that the level would hold despite low trading volume, which raised questions about the rally's stamina.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 0.7 percent at 10,662.42, the S&P 500 Index finished down 0.8 percent at 1124.83, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent at 2327.08.

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