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Big early fall for NZ sharemarket


Thursday 11th August 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket continued its big moves of recent days in early trading, wiping out much of yesterday's gains, after more sharp declines on world exchanges.

Stocks in the United States tumbled more than 4 percent, almost wiping out gains from the previous day's relief rally, as rumours about the health of French banks sparked concern that the euro zone's debt crisis could claim new victims.

"I think there's concern about just how much Greek debt French banks really do hold and how much the European Central Bank is willing to backstop all this," said Bret Barker, portfolio manager at TCW in Los Angeles.

Around 10.15am today the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 56.22 points or 1.77 percent to 3127.52, following yesterday's 2.8 percent rally.

Mainfreight fell 22c to 940 early after reporting first quarter net surplus after abnormals rose 109 percent to $14.2 million, as results from newly-acquired Wim Bosman Group were included for the first time.

Sky TV fell 19c to 550, Port of Tauranga was down 18c to 882, Hallenstein Glasson dropped 14c to 336, Fletcher Building lost 11c to 719, Contact Energy was down 10c to 490, Nuplex dropped 10c to 229, NZX was down 8c to 210, Restaurant Brands lost 8c to 225, Sky City dropped 7c to 325, and Telecom was down 2.5c to 238.

Swimming against the current, Scott Technology lifted 2c to 130 and APN News added 2c to 122.

In the US, fear returned to Wall Street triggered by worries Europe's debt crisis could spill onto the US financial sector.

Trading was once again marked by sharp moves on heavy volume.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 4.6 percent to 10,719.94, the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 4.4 percent to 1120.76, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.1 percent to 2381.05.

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