17 May 2010

Opening of world markets awaited

9:14 am on 17 May 2010

All eyes will be on international markets this week, after European sharemarkets fell sharply on Friday, on fears that the sovereign debt crisis in Greece, Spain and Portugal may kill the euro.

in London, the FTSE 100 index fell more than 3% to 5263.

Spain was worse hit - with its sharemarket losing 6.6%. The CAC-40 in Paris fell nearly 5% and the Dax in Frankfurt by more than 3%.

The contagion spread to Wall Street with the Dow Jones index closing 1.5% lower at 10,620.

The Nasdaq Composite closed 47 points lower, or 1.98%, at 2236.

In Australia, the ASX 200 index closed down 41 points, or 0.9%, at 4611.

The NZX 50 closed down 4 points, or 0.15%, at 3191 on turnover of $60 million.

At 8am on Monday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 70.68 US cents, 79.81 Australian cents, 48.65 pence, 65.22 yen and 0. 5725 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 67.95.

Brent crude oil was trading at $US76.18 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1230.05 per ounce.