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Sharemarket flat early at start of week

Monday 16th May 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket was flat in early trading, as key stock Telecom pushed back toward the level of the 14-month high reached last Thursday.

About 15 minutes after the market opened for the week, the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 0.77 points to 3535.02, having slipped 4.5 points on Friday.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) shares were up 1.5c early to $2.32 as the stock remained within striking distance of Thursday's $2.35 peak.

Restaurant Brands (NZX: RBD ) was up 4c early to $2.53 on low volume, and retailer The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) added 2c to $3.76, just below the five-montth high $3.77 reached on Friday.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) was down 2c early to $8.90, Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) lost 2c to $2.28, and Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ) dropped 2c to $5.97.

In the United States, stocks ended a second week of losses on a down note, reflecting growing worries that stocks are on the precipice of a pullback.

Concern about slowed growth worldwide, the coming end of a supportive Federal Reserve policy and the fear of a worsening euro-zone debt crisis are undermining the stock market's ability to maintain an upward direction.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 0.8% at 12,595.75, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index finished down 0.8% at 1337.77, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.2% at 2828.47.

For the week, the Dow was down 0.3%, the S&P 500 was off 0.2% and the Nasdaq was barely up at 0.03%.



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