Market close: NZ shares fall in face of China, Singapore weakness
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell, paced by the biggest companies on the bourse, Telecom and Fletcher Building, after figures showed China's economy slowed as expected while Singapore’s contracted.
The NZX 50 Index fell 5.9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3495.40. Within the index, 17 stocks fell, 25 rose and 8 were unchanged. Turnover was $69.8 million.
China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.6% in the three months ended June. 30 from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That's down from 8.1% in the March quarter. In Singapore, GDP shrank an annualised 1.1%.
"The GDP figure out of China was as expected – but the New Zealand market really failed to fire," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Instead we have spent the day consolidating."
Telecom, the largest company of the exchange, dropped 1.2% to $2.55. Fletcher Building, the nation’s biggest construction company, declined 1.8% to $5.98.
Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing retailer, led the decline, down 2.8% to $1.40. That was followed by children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch, shedding 2.3% to 37 cents. Michael Hill, the jewellery chain, fell 1% to 98 cents.
Pyne Gould was unchanged on 24 cents. The High Court has ordered two independent observers to keep tabs on Perpetual Trust’s cash management and mortgage funds amid concerns over related party loans, and ahead of a substantial hearing early next month.
Vector, the Auckland gas and electricity lines company, led gainers, rising 3% to $2.72.
Xero, the cloud-based accounting services company which joined the NZX 50 last month, rose 2.9% to $5.20.
"It is a very good product and has a decent market cap," Mr Williamson said. "The company will have to start producing some significant earnings to warrant a [share] price that high."
Guinness Peat Group gained 1.6%to 46 cents after it rejected a $A220 million full takeover bid for ClearView Wealth, the investment firm’s second-biggest asset, saying the price was “wholly inadequate”. It was offered 50 Australian cents a share.