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MARKET CLOSE NZX50 falls, paced by Telecom as appeal quashed

MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall, paced by Telecom as appeal quashed

Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell, paced by Telecom, which has failed in an attempt to overturn a record $12 million fine for historic antitrust violations. NZX fell after reporting a decline in the value of cash market trading.

The NZX 50 index 16.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3547.99. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 11 rose and 15 were unchanged. Turnover was $124.4 million.

Telecom, the largest company on the exchange, fell 0.7 percent to $2.65. The telecommunications company failed to overturn a record $12 million fine imposed for breaching competition law by misusing its market power.

"It's immaterial quite frankly when you look at the size of the company," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene Williamson said.

Separately, Telecom announced its head of retail Alan Gourdie also announced he will leave at the end of October, just two months into the company's new era under a new chief executive.

New Zealand was swept up in a Asia-wide sell-off amid disappointment European Central Bank president Mario Draghi failed to deliver investors with immediate steps to help shore-up Europe's debt crisis.

Shares in NZX fell 1.7 percent to $1.17 after the exchange regular announced its cash market trading rose in volume while falling in value last month. That reflects a global trend driven by increased use of automated trading that lets computers decide how to execute trades at the best levels.

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Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp fell 1.9 percent to $29.97 along with rival Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, down 1.1 percent to $30.27.

Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the NZX, shed 1.4 percent to $4.93.

The decline was led by PGG Wrightson down 3 percent to 31 cents.

The biggest gainer was would-be bank, Heartland New Zealand, up 1.9 percent to 54 cents. That was followed by Cavalier, New Zealand's only listed carpet market, rising 1.3 percent to $1.60.

Briscoe Group, the homeware and sporting goods retailer, rose 2.3 percent to $1.82. The stock has gained 31 percent so far this year. Profit at the retailer, whose stores include Briscoe, Rebel Sport and Living and Giving, rose to about $13 million in the six months ended July 31, from $10.3 million a year earlier. Its full results are to be released on Sept. 7.


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