1 Aug 2008

Markets follow Wall St downwards

1:36 pm on 1 August 2008

Falls on Wall Street have fed through to the New Zealand sharemarket, with the NZX 50 index down 23 points to 3313 on turnover of $54 million.

The Warehouse rebounded slightly after heavy falls on Thursday, gaining 13 cents at $3.35. The Court of Appeal has blocked the Foodstuffs and Woolworths supermarket groups from making takeover offers for the retailer.

AMP was down 33c to $8.05 over AMP Capital Investors suspended one of its property funds.

At 12.40pm on Friday, Telecom was down 5c to $3.76, Contact Energy was up 10c to $8.50 and Fletcher Building was down 13c to $6.25

Sky City Entertainment Group was down 3c to $3.42 ahead of a 24 hour strike at its Auckland casino on Saturday

Postie Plus was down 2c to 38c after it forecast a full year loss of between $6.5 -$7.5 million.

In the currency markets: at 12.40pm on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at US72.86 cents, 77.71 Australian cents, 36.73 pence, 78.44 yen and 0.4676 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.46.

Australia down

The Australian share market also opened lower on Friday morning.

The insurance sector was led lower by Suncorp Metway Ltd after the bank and general insurer said its annual profit would almost halve.

At 1015 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index sunk 47.3 points, or 0.95 per cent to 4930.1, while the broader All Ordinaries declined 45.7 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 5006.9.

The September share price index futures contract was hit 69 points, or 1.39 per cent, to 4910 on volume of 6,700 contracts.

Suncorp said it expects its net profit for fiscal 2008 to almost halve and its fiscal 2009 dividend to stay flat. Shares dropped $A1.93, or 14.5%, to $A11.44.

National Australia Bank was down 43c to $A24.29, Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 28c to $A39.50, ANZ slid 10c to $A16.16 and Westpac fell 28c to $A21.24. St George Bank dipped 46c to $A27.15.?

Other markets

Stocks in the United States fell on Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 205.67 points, or 1.78%, to 11,378.02.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 16.88 points, or 1.31%, to 1,267.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 4.17 points, or 0.18%, to 2,325.55.

For the month, the Dow was up 0.25%, while the Nasdaq finished July up 1.42%. The S&P 500 lost 1% in July.

Trading volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.45 billion shares changing hands. Volume was high on the Nasdaq, where about 2.39 billion shares were traded.

Europe stocks flat

European shares ended flat on Thursday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 0.06% lower at 1,180.04 points.

In other markets: the DAX index ended at 6479.56 points, up 19.44 or 0.3%. In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 4392.36 points, down 8.19 or 0.19%.

The Swiss market index closed at 7141.21 points, up 32.3 or 0.45%

In Britain, the FTSE 100 ended down 8.8 points, or 0.2%, at 5,411.9, after surging 1.9% on Wednesday.

Data showed British house prices fell at record rates and consumer confidence hit historic lows.