The benchmark NZX50 index fell 71 points, or more than 2%, to close at 3325 on turnover of $119 million on Wednesday.
In currency markets, the dollar is trading at 77.9 US cents, 78.67 Australian cents, 50.07 pence, 59.78 yen and 0.5724 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 69.
Fletcher Building was down 98 cents to $6.92, after issuing a profit warning for the first half of the year, due to weak housing and commercial construction activity.
Telecom was down 1.5 cents to $2.55 and Contact Energy was up 12 cents at $5.77.
Cavalier was down 15 cents to $2.75 after saying its first-quarter sales have dropped by a fifth, as higher carpet prices and Europe's debt woes deter customers from buying.
Pyne Gould Corporation was unchanged at 33 cents, after Australasian Equity Partners this week launched a takeover offer for the firm.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was down 6 cents to $2.57 and Mainfreight was down 13 cents to $9.72.
Sky City Entertainment was up 1 cent at $3.47 and Sky Television was down 6 cents at $5.49.