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NZ market dives on shock US siege

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 12th September 2001

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The NZSE 40 fell by more than 5% in the wake of the overnight US terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon but firmed slightly later in the day

Shares hit new lows early on, with market bellwether Telecom (NZSE: TEL) knocked down 31 cents to $4.34 in the first 20 minutes trading.

The NZSE 40 index dropped more than 110 points to around 1853 points in the first 20 minutes.

Predictably Air New Zealand (NZSE: AIRVA) shares were badly hit, with the A shares falling below 60 cents. The shares did not recover after Qantas announced Wednesday afternoon that it would not be buying Ansett.

Against the trend, but in line with overseas markets, gold stock Otter Gold (NZSE: OTR) finished the day higher.

New Zealand's market drop has followed similar falls overnight on the London, German and French stock exchanges. The NZSE opened an hour later this morning, at 10 am.

Biggest early losers in terms of value turnover have been Telecom (NZSE: TEL), Auckland International Airport (NZSE: AIA), Telstra (NZSE: TLS) and Fletcher Building (NZSE: FBU).

Fisher & Paykel (NZSE: FAP) fell more than a dollar not long after the market opened but made up some of that ground later in the day. The company is continuing with plans for separation, which includes listing some of its Healthcare shares in the US.

Vending Technologies (NZSE: VTL) has postponed a planned one for ten rights issue while AMP has suspended its World Index Fund (NZSE: WIN).

The US is continuing to count the cost of the terrorist air attacks. Three of the towers at the World Trade Centre in downtown New York have collapsed and thousands are feared dead.

There are widespread predictions that the attacks will send the already slowing US economy into shutdown as consumers cancel travel plans and take on a siege mentality.

The New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market are closed and are not expected to open until Thursday at the earliest.

The NZSE 40 ended the day down around 4.5% at 1873.

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