Sharemarket slump continues after big plunge

US stocks are mostly lower today, making wide swings as investors react to the market’s big decline a day earlier and a report that showed relatively tame inflation, which came as a relief.

Banks and healthcare companies are taking some of the worst losses while technology companies are slightly higher after a series of big losses. Stocks had their biggest losses in eight months yesterday, and tech was the hardest-hit sector.

Yesterday, big losses in the US market had an immediate impact locally, with 3.64 per cent being knocked off the S&P/NZX50 index.

JB Were’s New Zealand equity manager Rickey Ward described it as one of the biggest one-day falls ever for New Zealand.

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If the market again follows the US lead, local investors look set to be in for another rocky ride as the markets remain volatile.

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Bond yields, which have spiked over the last week, slid after the US Labor Department said consumer prices grew only slightly in September. That’s a sign inflation remains under control and suggests the Federal Reserve won’t have to raise interest rates at a faster pace.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as much as 84 points today and then dropped 372 points, but later recovered almost all of that loss. At 12:40 p.m., the Dow was down 107 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 25,492 after an 831 point plunge a day earlier.

The market’s recent decline was set off by a sharp drop in bond prices and a corresponding increase in yields last week and early this

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