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MARKET CLOSE NZ shares mixed as Hallenstein recovers, Tower goes ex-div

New Zealand stock market was mixed, as the Wellington Anniversary holiday thinned out trading, as Hallenstein Glasson rebounded and Tower slipped after shedding rights to its February dividend.

The NZX 50 Index fell 3.451 points, or about 0.07percent, to 4890.496. Within the index, 16 fell, 25 stocks rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was a lighter-than-usual $66.8 million with fewer participants in the market.

Retailer Hallenstein rose 2.9 percent to $3.25 climbing up from a four-year low last week, after the clothing chain was forced to revise its first half earnings because of disappointing Christmas sales.

"Clearly they warned the market several days ago and the market is still getting to grips with that information," said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. "But it is a very competitive market. Apparel is a tough space."

Children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch, with stores across the Tasman, hit its lowest price in two years, dropping 2.7 percent to 71 cents.

"The feedback we're getting from across the Australasia Pacific region is that Christmas started slowly but over all seemed ok. Australia seemed tougher and Pumpkin Patch suffered from that. That's combined with the translation impact of the high kiwi dollar," Goodson said.

Among other retailers, Kathmandu Outdoor clothing retailer, which has a large exposure to Australia, was unchanged at $3.29, Postie Plus Group fell 4.4 percent to 11 cents, and Warehouse Group was unchanged at $3.75.

Online auction website Trade Me, which is also used by retailers to distribute their goods, led decliners on the benchmark index, falling 3 percent to $4.11.

General insurer Tower fell after 2.2 percent to $1.75 after shedding rights to its 6 cents per share final dividend on Feb. 3.

Security software developers Wynyard Group again had another record day, rising as high as $3.01, before closing up 14 percent to $2.84. It announced a venture with UK-based consultancy Arquebus Solutions to develop and supply specialist gun tracking software.

Fellow growth and tech stock Xero was unchanged at $41.90, while Diligent Board Member Services dropped 1.7 percent to $4.75.

New Zealand's biggest listed company Fletcher Building dropped 0.5 percent to $8.930. Auckland International Airport also slipped 0.1 percent to $3.58. Telecom was unchanged at $2.385. The national carrier, Air New Zealand, dropped 0.6 percent to $1.685.

Partially privatised electricity company MightyRiverPower shed 0.3 percent to $2.02. Meridian Energy was unchanged at 98.5 cents.

(BusinessDesk)

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