In Tuesday's share trading, the NZX Top 50 index fell 39 points, or 1.3%, to close at 2786 on turnover of $82 million.
Telecom was down 5c to $2.57, Fletcher Building down 18c at $6.60, and Contact Energy down 11c to $5.72. Sky Network Television fell 2c to $4.28 and Goodman Fielder 2c to $1.70.
In other stocks, Briscoe Group decreased 4c to $0.96, Restaurant Brands was down 4c to $0.98, New Zealand Oil and Gas was down 1c to $1.62 and Pike River Coal was down 4c to $1.19. The Warehouse rose 3c to $3.74.
In currency markets, at 5.20pm the dollar was at 62.75 US cents, 79.36 Australian cents, 38.56 pence, 60.63 yen and 0.4542 euros. The Trade Weighted Index stood at 59.82.
Aust market sheds 1.7%
Weaker commodity prices and a sell down of Rio Tinto shares from its $A15 billion rights issue led to the Australian share market closing lower by around 1.7%.
At 1615 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 69.2 points, or 1.72%, at 3962.5 while the broader All Ordinaries index had lost 72.5 points, or 1.8%, to 3957.9 points.
On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the June share price index contract was 78 points lower at 3953 on a volume of 112,175 contracts.
Rio shares finished $A2.27, or 3.01%, weaker at $A73.23 in anticipation of the share price fall on Wednesday. Rival BHP Billiton lost 54c, or 1.46%, to $A36.46.
Major oil stocks lost ground, with Santos the worst hit. It finished down 72c, or 4.85%, to $A14.12. Oil Search declined 17c to $A5.63 and Woodside Petroleum fell $A1.35 to $A40.85.
Major gold stocks were mixed, with Newcrest Mining firming 4c to $A31.60, Lihir Gold 1c softer at $A2.91 and dual-listed Newmont Mining Corporation down 7c at $A5.18.
The spot price of gold was $US932.40 per fine ounce, down US 60 cents on Monday's close of $US933.00.
Telstra firmed 3c to $A3.38 and grocery giant Woolworths gained 4c to $A26.16.
ANZ Banking Group led the big four banks lower, down 50c, or 2.89% to $A16.80. National Australia Bank lost 28c to $A21.91, Commonwealth Bank fell 11c to $A38.10 and Westpac eased 1c to $A19.86. Australia's largest investment bank, Macquarie Group, fell $A1.47, or 3.76%, to $A37.60.
Tokyo shares slide 2.86%
Japanese shares dropped 2.86% on Tuesday on a stronger yen and following an overnight slump in US and European markets.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell 286.79 points to 9752.88, while the broader Topix index of all first section shares fell 32.06 points or 3.39% to 916.76.
Northern Hemisphere markets down
Wall Street stocks dived on Monday amid recovery worries fuelled by the Group of Eight finance chiefs and profit taking led by a commodity selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 187.13 points, or 2.13%, to end at 8612.13.
The tech-rich Nasdaq fell 42.42 points, or 2.28%, to 1816.38 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated 22.49 points, or 2.38%, to close at 923.72.
Britain's blue-chip share index fell 2.61% to its lowest closing level in six weeks on Monday, dragged lower by commodity stocks as the firmer dollar hurt metal and crude prices. The FTSE 100 closed 115.94 points lower at 4,326.01.
European shares also closed lower, with financials the main drag as the European Central Bank said euro zone banks may face further writedowns, while commodity stocks fell as crude and metal prices retreated.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed 2.5% lower at 863.34 points.