12 Aug 2010

Markets fall as economic gloom spreads

10:48 pm on 12 August 2010

Markets in Asia and the Pacific fell on Thursday, as economic gloom again spread around the globe.

Fears of slower growth in the United States and China caused steep declines on northern hemisphere markets on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Asian markets were down between 1% and 2%. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 fell 1% at its close, while the Australian bourse was 1.2% lower.

The New Zealand dollar regained some ground on Thursday after dropping more than half a cent in morning trade.

But the Kiwi could come under more pressure after a key manufacturing survey showed a sharp drop in orders in July.

Several bank economists say results of the Business New Zealand survey wipe out any chance of further rises in the Official Cash Rate this year.

The bleak outlook comes after several weeks of downbeat economic data, ranging from milk prices to house sales.