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NZ sharemarket falls early

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket dropped in early trading, with key stock Telecom back to levels last seen more than two months ago.

Yesterday the NZX-50 index had ended the day down 23 points, against the backdrop of the early afternoon earthquake that devastated Christchurch, and following a 30-point fall on Monday. Today the index was down 8.51 points to 3350.2 around 10.15am.

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) shares fell 3c early to $2.13, while heavyweight Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) lost 3c to $8.45 after yesterday gaining 18c.

While Fletcher's Christchurch businesses were damaged yesterday, there is thought to be increased work potential for the building supplies and construction firm that is already taking a significant role in rebuilding the region after last September's quake.

Nuplex (NZX: NPX ) lost 2c to $3.61 after announcing before the market opened today that it had reached a settlement of matters raised in civil proceedings brought by the Securities Commission.

As part of the settlement Nuplex is to make available about $3 million as compensation for people who bought shares in a period in late-2008 and early-2009.

Sanford (NZX: SAN ) lost 6c to $4.99 and The Warehouse (NZX: WHS ) was down 6c to $3.40, both on low volume, while Xero (NZX: XRO ) lost 9c to $2.55, Sky City (NZX: SKC ) fell 4c to $3.25, Fisher & Paykel (NZX: FPA ) was down 2c to $3.02 and Infratil (NZX: IFT ) dropped 2c to $1.90. OceanaGold (NZX: OGC ) gained 10c to $3.85.

In the US, stocks fell sharply and oil prices spiked to their highest level in two years as unrest in worsened in Libya.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.4% to close at 12,213, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2% to 1315, and the Nasdaq fell 2.7%, to 2756.



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