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NZ sharemarket lower early


Tuesday 12th July 2011

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The New Zealand sharemarket was lower in early trading, after world markets fell on fears the European debt crisis appears to be widening, with concerns about government debt defaults spreading to Italy and Spain.

Around 10.15am the benchmark NZX-50 index was down 9.94 points to 3424.2, having slumped 22 points yesterday.

Fletcher Building was down 5c to 819, after falling 11c yesterday, Contact Energy lost 5c early to 523, Mainfreight fell 4c to 1046, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped 3c to 262, Sky TV was down 3c to 585, while Telecom was unchanged at 245.5.

In the United States, worries about the European debt crisis added to uncertainty caused by a lack of progress in budget talks between Republicans and Democrats.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.2 percent to end at 12,505.76, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 1.8 percent to 1319.49, and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 2 percent to 2802.62.

Markets had seemed to be recovering during the last half of June, with the Dow having its best week in two years in the last week of the month after several positive reports on manufacturing and consumer spending. All three major indexes got close to their previous highs for the year.

But the run-up just gave markets more room to fall, says Ralph Fogel, an investment strategist at Fogel Neal Partners in New York.

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