NZ sharemarket joins global sell-off
New Zealand shares have joined a global sell-off, driven by concerns Chinese economic growth is slowing.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 42.45 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6564.34 today.
Within the index, 35 stocks fell, eight rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $123 million.
Markets across Asia fell, after Chinese manufacturing data fell to the lowest level in 6.5 years
Adding to the weakness, several NZX stocks shed rights to their dividends. Spark New Zealand dropped 4.6 percent, or 15 cents, to $3.09 as it went ex-dividend for its final 11 cents per share dividend and Fletcher Building declined 2.5 percent, or 18 cents, to $7.04, as it gave up rights to its final 19 cps dividend.
Other leaders to fall included Orion Health Group, down 4.4 percent to $3.44, Westpac 3.4 percent to $33.67, ANZ 3.1 percent to $30.30, Ryman Healthcare 2.3 percent to $7.21 and Xero 2.2 percent to $14.15.
"People are still focusing on China - markets took a turn for the worse after the manufacturing PMI came out," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.
"There's general uncertainty about growth following the Federal Reserve last week, which probably did more harm than good. They probably thought they were doing us a favour by keeping interest rates unchanged but it just created a whole raft of uncertainty because the market has thought well if you're worried about things maybe we should be too."
Z Energy was the best performer on the benchmark index, advancing 2.9 percent to $6.31 after saying it expects greater benefits than previously forecast from its proposed acquisition of Chevron New Zealand's service stations.
Restaurant Brands rose 1.3 percent to $3.83 after boosting first-half sales 13 percent.