Market close: Shares fall – AMP sheds dividend, NZX trading down
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell, with AMP leading stocks lower after adjusting for its dividend. NZX fell after reporting trading volumes were down last month.
Fletcher Building was among declines by companies that get revenue in Australia.
The NZX 50 Index fell 6.37 points, or 0.2%, to 2669.64. Within the index, 30 shares fell, 11 gained and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $74.8 million.
Shares were weaker across Asia on concerns about weakening global manufacturing and ahead of Friday's European Central Bank monetary policy review, where president Mario Draghi is expected to detail his bond-buying aspirations.
"If the markets overseas are down we will follow the trend if not the magnitude," says James Smalley at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "New Zealand is a very good dividend-paying market and people are happy to hold off for income.
AMP, the wealth management company, fell 3.7% to $5.55 after going ex its 12.5 cent final dividend. Vital Healthcare fell 2% to $1.22 after shedding its 1.925 cent final dividend. Ebos Group fell 1.7% to $8.23. Investors who buy the stock today are not entitled to its 20.5 cents-a-share final dividend.
NZX fell 2.8% to $1.05. The stock exchange operator said its cash market trading fell in volume in August while the value of trades increased in both equity and debt securities.
Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, slipped 0.6% to $6.48. Australian gross domestic product grew 0.6% in the three months ended June 30, according to government figures, just below the market consensus of 0.7%.
Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch, among the biggest gainers this week, fell 2.5% to $1.18. Xero, the cloud-based accounting company, slipped 1.6% to $4.92.
The gainers were led by Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer whose brands include Edmonds baking products and Vogel's bread, up 4.7% to 67 cents. The company is assessing its surplus plants and looking to cut costs.
Telecom, New Zealand's largest listed company, rose 1.2% to $2.45 and Cavalier, New Zealand's only listed carpet market, gained 2.3% to $1.82.
Shares in New Zealand Wool Services International, the wool scouring and exporting business whose majority shareholding is up for grabs, were unchanged on 37 cents and have declined 26% this year.
It posted a 66% drop in full-year profit to $2.2 million as wool prices tumbled.