13 Sep 2011

NZ market slides on world economy fears

6:04 am on 13 September 2011

The New Zealand market has not escaped mounting concerns about the European debt crisis and slowing global growth, though a stockbroker says there was no sign of panic selling on Monday.

Global markets had fallen sharply in trading on Friday, after the top German official at the European Central Bank quit and rumors circulated throughout global markets that Greece will default.

Wall Street stocks tumbled more than 2%, Germany's DAX shed more than 4%, France's CAC 40 fell 3.6%, and London's FTSE dropped 2.4%.

A director at stockbroking firm Hamilton Hinden Greene, Grant Williamson, says the worries driving international markets are also affecting the New Zealand market.

The benchmark NZX50 index closed down 60 points (1.8%) on Monday at 3263.

Mr Williamson says the New Zealand market is taking the worries about Greece's debt and possible default in its stride and losses on Monday morning showed investors were being cautious rather than indicating panic selling.

He says it appears to be retail investors selling, with the larger blue-chip stocks the most heavily traded.

Fletcher Building shares ended the day down 23 cents to $7.65, Telecom down 5 cents at $2.465, and Contact Energy down 17 cents at $5.25

In currency markets, the NZ dollar is at 81.6 US, 78.8 Australian, 51.58 pence, 62.88 Yen, point-6037 euro and the TWI stands at 71.66