Market close: Shares fall as Fletcher gives up gains, Skellerup disappoints

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell as Fletcher Building gave up early gains and Skellerup Holdings was punished a second day for lowering its guidance. NZ Oil & Gas and PGG Wrightson rose.

The NZX 50 Index fell 25.99 points, or 0.7%, to 3931.88. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 13 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $ 67.8 million.

The benchmark index has continued to drift down from the highest levels in almost five years reached last week. Fletcher began the day stronger before falling back down below $7. It ended the day down 1.6% to $6.93.

"Fletcher Building is relatively volatile at the moment," says Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "It spiked a few days ago on positive housing news in the US and Australia but the rally was shortlived."

He says the announcement of further work on the Clifford Bay ferry terminal proposal may herald potential infrastructure work down the track for Fletcher.

Skellerup dropped 4.2% to $1.60, adding to its 3.5% drop yesterday, when it said next year's profit may fall as much as 11% from a record result in 2012 as the company enters a tough trading environment.

"Investors had labelled this a growth stock," Mr Williamson says. "The guidance indicated maybe that growth is going to have a bit of a breather."

Nuplex Industries fell about 3% to $2.93 as new it may impute its dividends was overshadowed by the Shareholders' Association seeking to rein in directors' fees.

Mr Williamson saysd there may also have been some disappointment it did not reveal any significant upside in its guidance.

Guinness Peat Group was unchanged at 57 cents after the investment company said Sir Ron Brierley trimmed his shareholding in the company.

Goodman Fielder, the Australasian food manufacturer, fell 6.6% to 71 cents, the biggest decline on the index today. Cavalier slipped 3.7% to $1.82 after Wools of New Zealand said it plans to raise money to promote wool in export markets.

NZ Oil & Gas rose 3.5% to 89.5 cents. The company has some $162 million to spend on increasing its reserves, it said this week.

Wrightson, the rural services company controlled by China's Agria, rose 2.9% to 35 cents.

Vector was up 1.1% to $2.75 and Ebos Group gained 0.7% to $8.23.

Among smaller caps, Windflow Technology was unchanged at 19 cents after saying it would see bridging finance to enable it to continue to operate until a fundraising round with shareholders.

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7763 0.0017 0.22%
AUD 0.9526 0.0022 0.23%
EUR 0.6333 -0.0003 -0.05%
GBP 0.4972 0.0015 0.30%
HKD 6.0213 0.0140 0.23%
JPY 92.9840 0.4000 0.43%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 1.580 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.910 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.096 2014-12-19T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5527.8 5553.7 5527.8 0.25%
NASDAQ 4752.6 4782.1 4748.4 0.36%
DAX 9827.3 9883.6 9787.0 0.78%
DJI 17778.0 17874.0 17778.2 0.15%
FTSE 6545.3 6620.9 6545.3 0.99%
HKSE 23264.0 23478.9 23116.6 1.26%
NI225 17685.5 17692.6 17621.4 0.08%