Power companies lead NZ stocks lower
New Zealand shares have retreated, led by power companies as uncertainty over the future of the Tiwai Point smelter continues to weigh on investment decisions.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 18.64 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5706.7. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 13 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $121 million.
Utility companies fell as investors wait for a decision on whether the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which uses a seventh of the country's energy and is contracted to Meridian Energy, will remain open or seek to change its power arrangements.
Owner New Zealand Aluminium Smelters was due to make a decision at the start of July, but has since pushed that out until early August.
Meridian led the benchmark index lower, down three percent to $2.075.
Mighty River Power declined 0.4 percent to $2.825 and Genesis Energy fell 0.3 percent to $1.695.
"I think that is weighing on it a little bit," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
He said there was also continuing nervousness over the Greek debt crisis and Chinese stock markets so investors have taken some profits.
Chorus fell 2.3 percent to $2.775, SkyCity Entertainment Group 2.2 percent to $4.10 and Trade Me Group 2.1 percent to $3.22.
Of the day's few gainers, Kathmandu Holdings, the outdoor adventure firm under a takeover bid by Briscoe Group, was the best performer, up 1.9 percent to $1.65.