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NZ sharemarket down early


Monday 22nd August 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket started the new week lower, with key stock Contact Energy losing ground after reporting its full year result.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 11.59 points, or 0.36 percent, to 3256.25, having closed down 18.4 points on Friday.

Contact Energy was down 7c to 495 after reporting a 3 percent fall in full year profit to $150.3m, although performance improved in the second half and the company said it was set for earnings growth.

Nuplex added 1c to 238 after reporting a 3.6 percent rise in full year net profit to $66.5m, while Cavalier Corp was down 5c to 350 after it said normalised after tax earnings rose 4 percent for the year to $17.3m.

Fletcher Building fell 4c early to 775, Port of Tauranga was down 3c to 925, The Warehouse lost 3c to 337, and Telecom dropped 1.5c to 270.5 after reaching a two-year high 274 on Friday.

Xero added 5c to 255 and Skellerup gained 4c to 125.

In the United States, Wall Street ended a fourth week of losses on a down note on Friday (local time) as most buyers left the market before the weekend on growing fears of another US recession and destabilisation in Europe's financial system.

Investors already reeling from big losses in growth stocks were thumped by a dismal outlook from Hewlett-Packard, which dropped nearly 20 percent, its worst day since the stock-market crash of 1987.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.6 percent to end at 10,817.65, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 1.5 percent to 1123.53, and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.6 percent to close at 2341.84.

For the week, the Dow ended down 4 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 4.7 percent and the Nasdaq lost 6.6 percent.

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