21 Sep 2008

NZ sharemarket recovers slightly after big fall

8:51 am on 21 September 2008

The local sharemarket has recovered some of the ground it lost in Thursday's big fall, with the benchmark NZX 50 index closing up 28 points, or 0.8%, to 3187 on Friday.

It follows a 3% fall on Thursday, the worst day in six years.

Earlier, the United States sharemarket rose strongly after talk of the creation of a new government entity to rescue financial firms. The news also sent Asian shares soaring.

It comes after a series of seismic shocks in the world's financial system.

Since the start of the week, Lehman Brothers has collapsed, the Federal Reserve has bailed out insurance giant AIG, Merrill Lynch has been acquired by Bank of America and in the UK, Lloyds TSB has acquired HBOS.

On Thursday, more than $1.3 billion was wiped off the value of New Zealand shares when the market finished down 3.5%, dropping 111 points to 3,158.92. It was the market's biggest one day fall since November 2002.

At 5.20pm on Friday Telecom was down 1 cent to $2.72, Contact Energy was down 4c to $8.57 and Fletcher Building was up 3c to $6.98.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 8c to $3.16 and Fisher and Paykel Appliances up 2c to $1.72.

Rakon was up 3c to $2.46

Air New Zealand was up 1c to $1.06 after it created a standalone company to specialise in the design and installation of interiors for commercial aircraft and Boeing business jets.

Tourism Holdings was up 7c to $1.70, after figures showing the number of tourists rose less than 1% to 2.48 million for the August year.

New Zealand Oil and Gas is unchanged at $1.37

Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 index was up 198 points to 4805 at 5.20pm NZT.

European stock index futures jumped in early trade and Japan's Nikkei was trading 3.8% higher on Friday.

In currency markets, the NZ dollar was trading at 67.27 US, 83.28 Australian, 37.36 pence, 72.06 yen, and point 4751 euro.

The Trade Weighted Index stood at 64.12