The New Zealand sharemarket has opened sharply lower after the Reserve Bank slashed its official cash rate.

The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point, to support the economy against the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The benchmark top-50 index opened down about 1.3 percent in early trading.

This followed the near 5 percent fall on Friday.

However, travel-related stocks were hammered again after the government imposed strict entry conditions on travellers over the weekend.

Auckland Airport’s shares fell 12 percent after it withdrew the earnings forecast it made last Friday.

Air New Zealand was in a trading halt after it announced major cuts to international services, plans to reduce local flights by as much as a third, and lay off staff.

The New Zealand dollar is sitting at a near 11-year low of 59.8 US cents.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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