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Another big fall for NZ sharemarket

NZPA

Tuesday 9th August 2011

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Dramatic falls continued into a third trading day on the New Zealand sharemarket, after stocks plunged on world markets.

Wall Street ended down more than 6 percent while European stocks hit a two-year low as investors saw no solution to twin debt crises on both sides of the Atlantic. Investors fled to the safety of gold and bonds after the downgrade of the US credit rating by Standard & Poor's stoked fears the US is powerless to stop another recession.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 was down 94.27 points or 3 percent to 3091.18, following falls of 2.8 percent yesterday and 3 percent on Friday.

Mainfreight lost 50c to 940, Fletcher Building dropped 18c to 730, Port of Tauranga was down 19c to 870, Sky City fell 16c to 320, Sky TV lost 16c to 543, Telecom was down 8.5c to 240, and Contact Energy dropped 7c to 484.

In the United States, panicked selling on heavy volume resulted in the Standard & Poor's 500's worst day since December 2008, with every stock in the benchmark index ending in negative territory.

"We're starting to see real disorderly selling, far more than what we've been seeing," said Matthew Peron, head of active equities at the Chicago-based Northern Trust.

Perceptions that Washington is incapable of addressing the problems of rising debt and slowing growth contributed to the selling. That was underlined by selling that picked up during a statement from President Barack Obama that offered few concrete ways to resolve the fiscal and economic problems.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 5.6 percent to end at 10,809.85, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index sank 6.7 percent at 1119.46, and the Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 6.9 percent to close at 2357.69.



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