Sharemarket extends early losses

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 12:23 12/12/2012

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Finance and business diary Job-match website testing Kiwi waters Markets acting nervous as Fed officials convene Asian shares pinned near 5-month lows Aussie shares stage comeback Overvalued kiwi dollar 'a concern' Wall St closes lower on Fed concerns NZX falls in morning trade Sharp Air NZ share price slump under scrutiny NZX reappointed to world exchange body

The New Zealand sharemarket extended losses in morning trade, with renewed confidence in retail stocks offset by falling market giants Fletcher Building and Telecom.

The NZX 50 Index fell 12.22 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4013.96 as at noon. Telecom fell, and Steel & Tube rose.

The local stock exchange shrugged off leads from global equity markets overnight, where traders were cautiously optimistic at the prospect of avoiding the United States fiscal cliff.

Wall Street reversed the losses made post-election as the debt and tax discussions in Washington escalated, while German investor confidence also improved sharply.

The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 118.42 points, or 0.9 per cent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.98 per cent.

The New Zealand dollar climbed to nine-month highs as investors shifted out of the safe haven of the greenback and into growth-linked currencies.

The kiwi recently traded at US83.93c, up from US83.88c at 8am and US83.45 at 5pm yesterday.

Telecom paced the declining stocks, down 1.8 per cent to $2.20 after a third major broadband glitch this morning. Shares in the country's biggest phone company are rated "sell" by a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.

The Warehouse fell a further 1.3 per cent to $2.98 after losing 2.6 per cent in trading yesterday. Forsyth Barr recently advised clients to sell down their holdings after the country's largest listed retailer bought appliance chain Noel Leeming.

Australian food ingredients maker Goodman Fielder fell 1.2 per cent to 84c. Contact Energy, the country's biggest listed electricity company, fell 1.2 per cent to $5.15.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's biggest construction company, fell 1 per cent to $8.37.

Meanwhile, retail stocks were up almost across the board. Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu rose 1.5 per cent to $1.98.

Restaurant Brands rose 1.5 per cent to $2.70. New burger chain Carl's Jr has provided a major boost to the fast food franchise operator's third quarter sales.

Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch rose 1.5 per cent to $1.36.

Hallenstein Glassons Holdings, the fashion retailer, rose 0.4 per cent to $5.07.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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