New Zealand share market opened steeply lower on Tuesday, following an overnight sell-off on Wall Street where U.S. stocks plunged on renewed fears over the long-term health of the banking sector.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 29.90 points or 1.11% to 2,668.89 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index dropped 24.54 points or 0.90% to 2,716.25.
New Zealand's share market ended lower on Monday in a session of light trading. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 12.47 points or 0.46 percent at 2,698.8.
The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 34.1 million shares valued at NZ$70 million. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 52 to 3, with 25 unchanged.
Overseas, U.S. stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Monday, with the major averages giving back some ground after closing higher for six straight weeks. A negative reaction to the latest earnings news inspired traders to do some profit taking.
Bank of America released its first-quarter results before the market open, re-igniting concerns over the state of the country's banking industry and the economy. While the company posted a better earnings figure than analysts had expected, a significant increase in loan loss protection made investors wary of holding onto the stock.
The major U.S. averages saw some further downside in the latter part of the trading day, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow closed down 289.60 points or 3.6 percent at 7,841.73, the Nasdaq closed down 64.86 points or 3.9 at 1,608.21 and the S&P 500 closed down 37.21 points or 4.3 percent at 832.39.
Crude oil plummeted nearly 9% on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday amid further concerns over energy demands. Light sweet crude for May delivery dropped $4.45 to $45.88 per barrel, posting its lowest close in five weeks and falling below a trading range that lasted nearly a month.
Oil dropped as low as $45.50 during intraday trading. The May contract is set to expire on Tuesday. The more-actively June crude oil finished at $48.51, down $3.96.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US55.02c by 8am on Tuesday, compared to US56.76c at 5pm on Monday. The kiwi, which has fallen from around US59.30c in the past week, touched US54.85c in the overnight trading.
In the economic news for Tuesday, Statistics New Zealand releases its data on visitor arrivals in New Zealand for the month of March at 22:45 PM GMT.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom was down 2.00%, as second ranked Contact Energy gave up 0.69% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, slumped 3.05%.
In the retail sector Hallenstein Glasson remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International collected 1.79%, Pumpkin Patch gained 0.85% and Warehouse fell 0.57%.
In the energy sector, Vector and TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Tuesday morning.
Among the dual listed issues, AMP dropped 0.75%, Australia and NZ Banking Corp declined 1.55% and Lion Nathan slipped 1.91%, as APN News & Media, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged.
Among other notable stocks, Infratil, Methven and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged, as Mainfreight slipped 1.12%, Nuplex plunged 4.88%, Sky City fell 2.73% and Sky Network Television gave up 1.18%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances dropped 2.22%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare eased 0.66%.
The major gainers in the day's early trading included- Goodman Property Trust by 1.25%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 1.79%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.29%, Ryman Healthcare by 1.43% and Skellerup Holdings by 3.77%.
Major losers on Tuesday morning were - Auckland International Airport by 0.59%, Freightways by 2.21%, Guinness Peat Group by 2.70%, Kiwi Income Property Trust BY 1.10%, New Zealand Oil & Gas BY 1.45%, Port of Tauranga by 0.88%, Pike River Coal by 2.50%, Tourism Holdings Limited by 2.17% and Tower by 2.27%.
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