8 Oct 2008

NZ market down 1.25%

12:00 pm on 8 October 2008

The New Zealand share market dropped 1.25% in early trading on Wednesday.

After the first 15 minutes of trading on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the NZX 50 index was down 37.59 points at 2,966.60.

Among the three leading stocks: Telecom fell four cents to $2.74, Fletcher Building lost 17 cents to $6.25 and Contact Energy was down 13 cents at $7.32.

At 10.55am on Wednesday, the NZX 50 was down 46 points, or 1.5%, to 2958 - its lowest level in three and a half years. The index has fallen 26% so far this year.

The index closed down 44 points, or 1.47% to 3004 on turnover of $58 million on Tuesday.

Wall Street sinks again

Stocks in the United States fell again on Tuesday for the fifth consecutive session. Trading volume was low on the NYSE.

After a battering of markets on Monday, Wall Street took little comfort in news that central banks were pumping up liquidity to banks.

The US Federal Reserve opened its coffers to companies hit by the credit crunch with a new programme that will buy their short-term debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 508.39 points, or 5.11%, to 9,447.11.

The Dow has lost more than 1,400 points over the past five sessions, nearly 13% of its value.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 60.66 points, or 5.74%, to 996.23 - the first timeit has closed below the 1,000 level in more than five years.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 108.08 points, or 5.8%, to 1,754.88.

Trading volume was low on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.73 billion shares changing hands - below last year's estimated daily average of roughly 1.90 billion, while on Nasdaq, a

About 2.82 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq - above last year's daily average of 2.17 billion.

European banks hit

In Europe, mounting concerns about the financial sector have hit shares of banks.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS plunged nearly 40% on Tuesday. Commerzbank fell 14%, Barclays shed 17% and Lloyds TSB slipped 13%.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally ended 0.2% lower at 1,003.07 points after witnessing its worst one-day percentage fall on record on Monday.

The index is down about 33% so far this year.

In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 1.95% while the Frankfurt Dax added 1.51%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 closed 16 points, or 0.4%, higher at 4,605.2 points in a volatile session.

The index lost 7.85% to hit a four-year low on Monday and is down 28.7% for the year.