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Market close: NZ shares fall from near five-year high

New Zealand shares fell, as a rally that has pushed the NZX 50 Index to near a five-year high, faltered on concern the gains have left some equities fully valued.

Telecom paced the decline and Xero dipped.

The NZX 50 fell 7.328 points, or 0.2%, to 4075.038. Within the index, 18 stocks fell, 20 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $70.1 million.

Telecom fell 1.4% to $2.18. The shares are rated "underperform" based on the consensus of 10 recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median price target of $2.23.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting service that has soared 171% in a year, dropped 1.1% to $7.40.

"Investors need to be a little bit careful - on fundamentals some stocks look fully priced," says Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"It will be interesting as we go into February and get earnings season under way to see how those companies are performing."

Those that aren't over-valued include Chorus, the network company spun off from Telecom in 2011, whose shares tumbled last month on the threat of increased control of its prices from the regulator. Its shares fell 2% to $2.91 today and have dropped 14% in the past month.

Contact Energy, another Mr Williamson says isn't overpriced, rose 0.8% to $5.32. The potential listing of state-owned power companies this year has seen the stock marked down.

Fletcher Building rose 0.2% to $8.48 after seeking clearance to sell its CSP Coating galvanised steel unit to Hamilton-based Perry Group as it looks to replace some of its treated metal products with imports.

Skellerup Holdings rose 3.1% to $1.67 and has gained 19% in the past 12 months.

Tourism Holdings jumped 9.2% to 71c. Sky City Entertainment fell 1.1% to $3.75. It is up 9.2% in the past six months.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which gets more than 50% of its sales in US dollars, fell 2% to $2.41.

Goodman Fielder fell 2.5% to 78c. Mainfreight rose 0.9% to $11.81 and Pumpkin Patch fell 1.5% to $1.33.


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