5 Aug 2008

NZ share market falls

10:07 pm on 5 August 2008

The NZX Top 50 index closed down 23 points on Tuesday, to 3295 on turnover of $74 million.

Fletcher Building was up 7 cents to $6.35, Sky Television up 1c to $4.67, Telecom down 9c to $3.67 and The Warehouse down 2c to $3.40.

In currency markets, at 5.08pm the dollar was trading at 72.57 US cents, 78.51 Australian cents, 37.04 pence, 78.55 yen, and 0.4675 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stood at 65.52.

Aust stocks close lower

The Australian share market closed lower after heavy losses from the resources sector amid sharply weaker commodity prices overnight and a poor lead from Wall Street.

At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 67.3 points, or 1.38%, lower at 4820.4, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 75.6 points, or 1.52% to 4882.

At 1615 AEST on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index contract was 48 points lower at 4813, on a volume of 36,199 contracts.

BHP Billiton dropped $A2.53, or 6.6%, to $A35.82, rival Rio Tinto shed $A7.31, or 6.19%, to $A110.79, while Fortescue Metals lost 50c, or 6.25% to $A7.50.

The market got off to a poor start after a weak lead from Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 42.17 points, or 0.37%, to close at 11,284.15.

The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia left official rates unchanged at 7.25%.

The banks were stronger, with ANZ adding 56c to $A17.01, National Australia Bank putting on 55c to $A24.75, Commonwealth Bank gaining $A1.57 to $A41.25 and Westpac climbing 82c higher to $A21.84.

The media sector was mixed, with News Corp picking up 40c to $A16.10, its non-voting shares gaining 40c to $A15.59, Fairfax adding 3c to $A2.67 and Consolidated Media Holdings falling 7c to $A2.98. Seven Network put on 25c to $A8.39.

The retailers were mixed, with David Jones adding 14c to $A3.49, Harvey Norman putting on 2c to $A3.21, Woolworths losing 36c to $A25.49 and Wesfarmers falling $A1.19 to $A33.66.

The energy sector was weaker, with Woodside dropping $A2.80 to $A51.20, Santos losing 90c to $A16.95 and Oil Search falling 41c to $A5.24.

The spot price of gold was lower and at 1620 AEST was trading at $US887.60 an ounce, down $US25.85 on Monday's local close of $US913.45 an ounce.

The gold miners were weaker, with Newcrest losing $A3.42 to $A26.31, Lihir falling 28c to $A2.42 and Newmont shedding 18c to $A4.92.

Telstra was the most traded stock on the market, with 60.3 million shares changing hands, worth $A270.6 million. The telco shed 10c to close at $A4.47.

Japanese shares close lower

Japanese share prices closed down 0.14%. The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index slipped 18.52 points to end at 12,914.66. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares declined 0.54 points or 0.04% to 1247.71.