Tuesday 12th July 2011
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The sharemarket slumped more than 22 points yesterday as overseas stocks dropped in the wake of weak economic data from China and the United States reviving concerns about the health of the global economy.
Analysts said that sharp declines looked unlikely before an emergency meeting to stem the spreading debt crisis, but the euro weakened to a two-week low against the greenback amid worries that the debt crisis was spreading to Italy, the region's third-largest economy.
Stockmarkets around the world have barely begun recovering from an extended period of volatility in the first half of 2011, when a perfect storm in the shape of slowing growth in China, worrisome news from the euro zone and little progress to avert a looming US debt default deterred demand for risky assets once again.
Across the Tasman, stocks fell by more than 1 percent on the ASX after the Australian Government unveiled a plan to tax carbon emissions from the nation's worst polluters, sending shares of coal miners, steel and airlines such as Macarthur Coal, BlueScope Steel and Virgin Australia tumbling.
In New Zealand, the benchmark NZX-50 index finished down 22.003 points (a drop of 0.637 percent) at 3434.134, after losing 4.4 points on Friday. Overall, 51 falls among the 110 stocks traded were almost double the 27 rises, as 92 million shares valued at $168m changed hands.
Fletcher Building continued its retreat, down 6c in early trading, but finished down 11c (1.32 percent drop) at 824.
Guinness Peat Group dropped 3.8 percent, falling 3c to 76, Skellerup lost 4.07 percent when it dropped 5c to 118, and cornerstone stock Telecom fell 3.5c (1.41 percent) to 245.5, while Contact Energy slipped 5c (down 0.94 percent) to 528.
APN News fell 1c (0.61 percent) to 1.64.
Sky TV rose 1.38 percent as it added 8c to reach 588, PGG Wrightson lifted 4.35 percent, with a 2c gain to 48.
Australian stocks were the worst performers among the Asian markets, dropping more than 1.5 percent as the benchmark ASX200 index fell 72.4 points to 4582.3 while the All Ordinaries index fell 69.2 points to 4646.8.
In the US, the fall in stock prices on Friday (local time) followed data showing US employers created the fewest number of jobs in nine months. The 18,000 net jobs in created in June were a fraction of what many economists expected and dampened hopes that the economy was improving.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell 0.7 percent to 1343.80, leaving it with a gain of just 0.3 percent for the week.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.5 percent to 12,657.20, only the Dow's second down day over the past nine, while the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.4 percent to 2859.81, its first loss in two weeks. The Dow rose 0.6 for the week, the Nasdaq 1.6 percent.
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