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MARKET CLOSE: Shares fall, joining global selloff; Xero, A2, Chorus drop

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 42.6 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6109.29.

Sophie Boot
Thu, 14 Jan 2016

New Zealand shares fell, joining a global selloff as weak crude oil and concerns about faltering Chinese growth hurt sentiment. Xero, A2 Milk Co and Chorus declined.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 42.6 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6109.29. Within the index, 40 stocks fell, seven rose and three were unchanged. Turnover was $105 million.

Markets across the world slid, with Asia following Wall St's overnight lead, ending a two-day rebound as anxiety grows about the implications of oil's continued slide and Chinese economic contraction.

Xero led the index down, falling 5.3 percent to $16.29, a two-month low.

"Xero has a lot of offshore and retail shareholders, who are perhaps more susceptible to what we've seen overseas," said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. "We've seen quite a sharp sell off in that broader sector in the US in the past week - it does tend to blow in the wind depending on what's happening."

A2 Milk fell 2.8 percent to $1.75, Chorus lost 2.2 percent to $3.75, and Orion Health Group slipped 2.2 percent to $3.10.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 3.8 percent, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.7 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.6 percent. China's Shanghai SE Composite Index fell 1.1 percent.

"Today's market fall is more just price action rather than specific bad news that's relevant for this market, particularly with oil prices continuing to be so weak," Goodson said. "It's really the sharp emerging slowdown in China that's concerning markets. Given the prevalence of quant funds, exchange traded funds, you do tend to get these scares transmitted across the world."

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, a dual-listed stock, fell 1.8 percent to $26.78. Argosy Property fell 1.7 percent to $1.15, Heartland Bank dropped 1.5 percent to $1.28, and Property for Industry declined 1.5 percent to $1.595.

Sky Network Television fell 1.4 percent to $4.21. The company, which is struggling to retain subscribers with growing competition from services such as Netflix, was criticised on social media for a software upgrade customers described as slow and hard to navigate.

Fletcher Building fell 0.6 percent to $6.76. BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager, has tweaked its stake in Fletcher Building back above the 5 percent substantial shareholder mark again. Its latest move lifted its shareholding to 5 percent after a number of trades over the past two weeks see-sawed to just below and just above the substantial shareholding mark, according to notices lodged with the NZX.

Steel & Tube Holdings was the best performer on the day, rising 1.8 percent to $2.26, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.8 percent to $8.55.

Meridian Energy rose 0.4 percent to $2.34, Genesis Energy rose 0.3 percent to $1.86, and Contact Energy rose 0.2 percent to $4.66.

(BusinessDesk)

Sophie Boot
Thu, 14 Jan 2016
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MARKET CLOSE: Shares fall, joining global selloff; Xero, A2, Chorus drop
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