The New Zealand sharemarket closed lower today as investors continued to assess a range of government interventions globally and awaited interest rate decisions here and elsewhere.
Trading in Auckland International Airport shares was halted while the company carries out the first stage of a $126.4 million capital raising unveiled today at $1.65c a share. The shares closed yesterday at $1.92.
There was an early glimpse at the reporting season with the airport releasing unaudited interim figures today, while Abano Healthcare fell 18c to $5.90 after reporting an interim profit today.
The benchmark NZX50 index closed down 15.49 points, or 0.5%, at 3193.573. Turnover was worth $56.19 million. There were 26 rises and 38 falls among the 116 stocks traded.
The US market declined on Tuesday as investors continued to mull bank regulation there and constraints on bank lending in China.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to keep the official cash rate on hold in a statement tomorrow.
"The market is just drifting on light volume," said Stephen Wright at ASB Securities.
Among the leaders, Telecom was unchanged at $2.44, Fletcher Building fell 11c to $8.07 and Contact fell 8c to $5.90.
Mainfreight rose 8c to $5.65, Air New Zealand rose 1c to $1.20 and SkyCity rose 2c to $3.39. Ebos rose 3c to $5.98.
Port of Tauranga eased 5c to $7.05, Infratil fell 2c to $1.65 and Tourism Holdings fell 1c to 92c.
Retailers were weak in Australia after Woolworths reported sales figures today. In New Zealand, The Warehouse was down 6c at $3.82, but Hallenstein Glasson rose 1c to $3.24 and Pumpkin Patch was unchanged at $2.00.
Xero rose 5c to $1.62 after saying it has entered an agreement giving it access to potential international customers.
Sanford was unchanged at $4.90 after telling shareholders at the annual meeting that its markets were challenging but expected to gradually improve in the coming year.
On Wall Street, US stocks slipped as solid earnings and consumer confidence data were tempered by trepidation before major political and regulatory developments expected later in the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 2.57 points, or 0.03%, to 10,194.29. The S&P 500 Index lost 4.61 points, or 0.4%, to 1092.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 7.07 points, or 0.3%, to 2203.73.