By Sophie Boot
New Zealand shares fell along with equity markets across Asia as the terror attacks in Paris sapped risk appetite among investors, weighing on risk-sensitive assets such as technology and commodity-linked companies. New Zealand Refining and Xero declined.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 27.35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5961.68. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 11 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $93.4 million.
Stocks fell across Asia after the attacks in Paris over the weekend sent investors in search of defensive stocks and safe haven assets such as the yen and gold. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was down 1 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index declined 0.6 percent.
"Markets around the globe had a weak finish last week, but events over the weekend haven't provided any reason for them to re-rate upwards," said Rickey Ward, NZ equities manager at JBWere. "Our market has followed on from that weak undertone from last week and the events in Paris clearly haven't helped."
New Zealand Refining led the index lower, falling 3.9 percent to $3.72.
Z Energy fell 0.9 percent to $6.55, while Air New Zealand dropped 2.8 percent to $2.74
Xero fell 3.8 percent to $18.80. Diligent Corp, the governance app developer, declined 1 percent to $5.94.
Argosy Property fell 0.9 percent to $1.125.
A2 Milk was the biggest gainer on the benchmark index, rising 3.4 percent to 91 cents, on speculation Australian and Chinese demand for infant formula will remain strong.
Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund advanced 2.4 percent to $5.52, after Fonterra raised its annual earnings forecast, cutting costs to boost margins even as milk volumes decline.
Ebos Group rose 0.2 percent to $13.67 while Wynyard Group fell 1.14 percent to $1.73.
Wellington Drive Technologies was unchanged at 6 cents after the unprofitable maker of energy-efficient motors narrowed its third-quarter loss, having lifted sales in Latin America and Asia and benefited from a weaker kiwi dollar.