Market close: NZ shares fall, paced by OceanaGold, AIA
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell, led by OceanaGold and Auckland Airport, as equity markets digested weaker data out of the US and the prospects that the Federal Reserve will act to stimulate the world's largest economy.
The NZX 50 Index fell 22.07 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3463.70. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 14 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $105 million.
"There has been pretty widespread weakness across a range of large caps," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "We have seen some of the positive sentiment in recent days fade – there has been some bad economic news out of the America."
The decline was paced by Oceanagold, which operates the Macraes gold mine in central Otago, down 5% to $2.31, and Auckland Airport, falling 2.2% to $2.42.
Telecom, the largest company on the exchange, shed 1% to $2.51, while Chorus, which demerged from the telecommunications company in November, fell 1.6% to $3.11.
Shares in Heartland New Zealand shed 1.7% to 57 cents as Pyne Gould Corp completed its exit from the lender, selling the rest of its stake for $7.9 million.
"We have seen some improvement in Heartland since Pyne Gould sold out – that has encouraged a bit of buying into the Heartland story," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Their stake has been hanging over the market."
Pyne Gould finished the day unchanged on 27 cents.
Shares in investor infrastructure firm, Infratil fell 0.5% to $2.06. Tim Brown, head of capital markets and economic regulation, was seriously injured after being hit by a Wellington bus owned by the company’s NZ Bus unit.
The index’s gains were paced by Xero, the cloud-based accounting, which rose 2.2% to $5.52. Xero said today it had acquired Wellington-based software developer Spotlight Workpapers for $800,000.
"I just wonder if the market is getting a little bit ahead of itself," Mr Williamson said. "Investors in the next few years will want to see the company produce some results at the revenue level and the bottom line."
Xero and Diligent Board Member Services joined the NZX 50 in June, replacing struggling GPS-components maker Rakon and building supplies manufacturer Steel & Tube.
Diligent shares rose 0.8% to $3.90.
The Warehouse Group, the largest retailer on the exchange, rose 1.5% to $2.65.