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NZ sharemarket falls early


Tuesday 19th July 2011

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The New Zealand dollar fell in early trading, following the direction of overseas markets amid fears no imminent solutions to the European and US debt problems could allow them to spiral into a global crisis.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 9.56 points to around four-month lows at 3376.33. Yesterday the index fell 20.5 points, its 10th consecutive trading day in decline.

Vector was down 6c early to 247, Fletcher Building dropped 3c to 797, Contact Energy lost 4c to 535, Sky TV fell 4c to 576, Mainfreight was down 3c to 1007, and Telecom slipped 0.5c to 248.5.

OceanaGold rose 4c to 362, after the price of gold jumped to record highs, and Nuplex rose 2c to 282.

In the United States, as the clock ticks toward the August 2 deadline for an increase in the statutory $US14.3 trillion ($NZ19.4 trillion) borrowing limit, investors were nervous about the stalemate in Washington and chances of the economy slipping into a recession only two years after the last one.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.8 percent at 12,385.16, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.8 percent to 1305.44, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.9 percent at 2765.11.

A sell-off in bank shares knocked European stocks down 1.7 percent to their lowest levels since early December, while the MSCI world equity index fell 1.3 percent to its lowest since late June.

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