Key Points:

Telecom led the sharemarket further south today after posting a lower first half profit.

The market's negative tone was despite a reasonable session on Wall Street that saw US stocks rise 0.4 per cent. However, Britain's FTSE 100 dived 2.6 per cent despite the Bank of England cutting rates to extend its losses for the week to 5 per cent on concern about company earnings.

Continued falls in calling and mobile revenue contributed to Telecom reporting a 12.6 per cent fall in half year net profit to $397 million.

Adjusting for the sale of Yellow Pages, earnings from continuing operations for the half year period were down 2.7 per cent to $397m.

Telecom shares were down 10c to 400.

The NZSX-50 benchmark index was down 15.5 points to 3621 at 10.15am.

No 2 stock, Fletcher Building recovered some of yesterday's 29c hit, rising 7c to 960. No 3 Contact Energy was down 3c to 774.

Elsewhere in the top 50 moves were moderate. The Warehouse was down 2c to 578, Air New Zealand, dealing with a hijacking incident in one of its small aircraft in Christchurch, was down 2c to 264, and Hellaby was up 4c to 215.

South Port fell 10c to 210 after its result yesterday. Retailer Postie Plus was up 3c to 63.

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On Wall Street, US stocks rose as relatively low share values tempted investors back into the market after a three-day losing streak that had pushed the Nasdaq into an official bear market.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.90 points, or 0.38 per cent, on 12,247.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 10.43 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 1336.88 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 14.28 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 2293.03.