Local shares falter over Chinese fears
By Sophie Boot
New Zealand shares fell as concerns about slowing Chinese growth continued to weigh on equity markets. A2 Milk Co, Mighty River Power and Xero declined.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 49.13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6213.39. Within the index, 29 stocks fell, 12 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $121 million.
The benchmark index has fallen 1.8 percent in the three trading days since markets opened for the year, led downwards largely by negativity out of China after figures showed a deeper contraction in Chinese manufacturing.
China's Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index fell 7.2 percent, triggering the second trading halt in four days for the composite index. The Shanghai SE Composite Index fell 7.3 percent.
Stocks across Asia fell, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 down 2.2 percent, Japan's Nikkei 225 falling 1.8 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declining 2.4 percent.
Leading the market down for the third day in a row was A2 Milk, which fell 5.4 percent to $1.74.
Mighty River Power fell 4.3 percent to $2.79, and Xero dropped 4.2 percent to $18.1.
Dual-listed bank stocks fell with the Australian market at a three-week low. ANZ fell 4 percent to $27.45 and Westpac Banking Corp declined 4 percent to $33.15,
Summerset Group fell 1.3 percent to $3.99.
SkyCity fell 1.9 percent to $4.19, and Sky Network Television dropped 1.8 percent to $4.26. The company is battling to retain customers against the rise of on-demand streaming services, such as US content provider Netflix, which announced it was launching in 130 new countries.
Coats Group was the top performer on the index, rising 1.9 percent to 52.5 cents. Vector gained 1.6 percent, to $3.20, and Property for Industry climbed 1.6 percent to $1.635.