11 Jul 2008

New Zealand sharemarket falls

2:09 pm on 11 July 2008

The NZX 50 index fell 23 points or 0.76% to 3088 on Friday morning trading, on turnover of $36 million.

At 12.50pm Fletcher Building was down 20c to $6.23, and Michael Hill International rose 2c to 80c.

The Warehouse was up 4c at $4.00 while Telecom fell 7c to $3.30

In the currency markets the dollar was trading at 75.9 US cents, 78.92 Australian, 38.36 pence, 81.22 yen, and 0.4806 euro. The TWI stood at 67.55

Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 index is up 3 points, to 4941 in early trading.

Wall Street

US stocks rose on Thursday, helped by optimism about a major deal in the chemicals sector and a statement by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Dow Chemical's $US15.3 billion bid for Rohm and Haas gave investors confidence that there was value in the sector.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress they were doing everything possible to restore calm to financial markets, but stressed to lawmakers that a longer-term regulatory overhaul was vital to avert future crises.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 81.58 points, or 0.73%, to 11,229.02, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 8.70 points, or 0.70% to 1,253.39.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.96 points, or 1.03% to close at 2,257.85.

Alcoa also helped drive the Dow upward after aluminum prices hit an all-time high on output cuts in top producer China.

Apple's stock rose, lifting the Nasdaq, as it was set to launch the latest version of its popular iPhone.

But a jump in the price of oil amid threats to production in Nigeria and Brazil and an additional missile test by Iran kept the stock market's gains in check.

The higher oil prices raised concerns about consumer spending and corporate profits, hurting sectors from retailers to automakers.

The gains came a day after the S&P 500 joined the Dow industrials and the Nasdaq in a bear market.