10 Oct 2008

NZX 50 down slightly following

7:05 am on 10 October 2008

The New Zealand share market was down slightly on Thursday, after central banks around the world slashed interest rates in an effort to restore confidence to battered markets.

The NZX 50 index was down 4 points, or 0.13%, to 2944 on turnover of $123 million.

Unlike Wednesday's sea of red arrows, some stocks were trading in the green.

The Warehouse's share price rose 40 cents to $3.49, after speculation its move to stop selling groceries opens the door to a takeover.

Telecom was down 2c to $2.65, while Contact Energy fell 10c to $7.30.

Fletcher Building rose 3c to $6.39, while Pumpkin Patch was up 1c to $1.19.

At 5.20pm, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 60.89 US, 88.04 Australian, 35.23 pence, 61.51 yen, and 0.4455 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 60.

The Australian share market shrugged off the coordinated interest rate cuts and closed at fresh three-year lows.

The S&P/ASX200 index was down 67.2 points, or 1.53%, to 4,320.9, while the All Ordinaries index lost 78.5 points, or 1.8%, to 4,291.3.

The market was weighed down by heavy losses among energy stocks and Commonwealth Bank.

Shares in the bank, Australia's biggest provider of mortgages, fell $A2.75, or 6.09%, to $A42.41 after hitting an intraday low of $A39.20.

The energy sector was a major drag on the market, with Queensland Gas a poor performer, plunging A32c, or 9.85%, to $A2.93.

At 1623 AEDT, spot gold was trading in Sydney at $US906.70 an ounce, up $US18.40 on Wednesday's close of $US888.30.

Japan's Nikkei share average finished 0.5% lower in a choppy session, down for a sixth straight day for its lowest close since June 2003.

It saw its biggest one-day drop in 21 years on Wednesday, shedding nearly 10% of its value.

However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rebounded 2.7% after three days of losses had taken it to the lowest close in two years.