1 Aug 2008

Asia-Pacific markets down after Wall St slump

8:05 pm on 1 August 2008

Falls on Wall Street affected markets in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, with the New Zealand, Australian and Japanese markets all down at the close of trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 205.67 points, or 1.78%, to close at 13,3787.02 on Friday.

In New Zealand, the benchmark NZX 50 index was 33 points lower at 3303 on turnover of $106 million.

The Warehouse rebounded slightly after heavy falls, gaining 13 cents at $3.35. The Court of Appeal on Thursday blocked supermarket giants Foodstuffs and Woolworths from making takeover offers for New Zealand's biggest retailer.

AMP was down 33c to $8.05 after AMP Capital Investors suspended one of its property funds

Telecom was down 5c to $3.76, Contact Energy rose 10c to $8.50, but Fletcher Building fell 13c to $6.25.

Sky City Entertainment Group was down 3c to $3.42 ahead of a 24-hour strike at its flagship Auckland casino on Saturday.

Postie Plus was down 2c to 38c after it forecast a full-year loss of between $6.5 million to $7.5 million.

In Australia, the share market resumed its downward march on Friday, closing almost 1.5% lower after a poor result from Wall St and falls from the financial sector amid further signs of a deteriorating economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 fell 73.4 points, or 1.47%, to 4904, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 74.6 points, or 1.48%, to 4978.

At the close of day trading on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index contract was 65 points lower at 4913, on a volume of 26,636 contracts.

The spot price of gold was lower and it closed Sydney trading at $US910.10 an ounce, down $US4.30 on Thursday's local close of $US914.40 an ounce.

Market turnover reached 1.16 billion, worth a total value of $4.2 billion, with 394 stocks up, 670 down and 290 unchanged.

In Japan, share prices were down 2.11% on Friday, hit by the slump on Wall Street, disappointing domestic earnings news and political uncertainty, dealers said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index slid 282.22 points to 13,094.59.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares shed 30.69 points or 2.35% to 1,272.93.

Investors refrained from buying ahead of key US jobs data and a cabinet reshuffle by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.