25 Sep 2008

Markets fall amid concern over US bailout

10:29 pm on 25 September 2008

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on Thursday, amid concerns over the US bailout of its troubled financial system.

The New Zealand sharemarket fell 22 points to close at 3238 on turnover of $78 million on Thursday.

Telecom was down 5 cents to $2.79, while fellow market heavyweights Fletcher Building dropped 4c to $7.35 and Contact Energy rose 1c to $8.51.

Rakon fell 10c to $2.35 after technology investor Peter Maire sold part of his stake in the company.

The Warehouse was up 3c to $3.20.

ANZ remained unchanged at $23 following news it plans to cut frontline staff at its ANZ New Zealand retail branches.

The Australian share market finished weaker after directionless trading as major traders stood aside on uncertainty over the US government's proposed $US700 billion financial markets rescue package.

At 1615 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was 54.5 points lower, or 1.09%, to 4927.4, while the broader All Ordinaries lost 47.4 points, or 0.95%, to 4960.8.

Japanese share prices have closed down 0.90% due to continued nervousness over the US bailout rescue package.

Financial shares were among the falling stocks on Asia's largest bourse with a proposed 700-billion-dollar emergency Wall Street bailout stuck in limbo.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 108.50 points to 12,006.53. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares dropped 14.02 points or 1.21% to 1,153.95.

US markets lower

The Dow and S&P 500 edged lower on Wednesday due to uncertainty about when Congress might approve a proposed $700 billion financial sector bailout.

Fear that congressional wrangling could delay or weaken the plan to mop up bad mortgage debt from banks' balance sheets kept stocks in check throughout the day.

The Dow and S&P declined for the third consecutive day. However, the Nasdaq held on to slender gains on hopes that technology spending would increase once a version of the bailout plan becomes law.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 29.00 points, or 0.27%, at 10,825.17.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 2.35 points, or 0.2%, at 1,185.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.35 points, or 0.11%, at 2,155.68.