NZ shares decline amid global concerns
By Sophie Boot
New Zealand shares declined amid continued global concerns about economic growth and demand for commodities. Xero, Spark New Zealand and A2 Milk Co falling while Warehouse Group gained.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 51.8 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,019.49. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 16 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $172 million.
Local news was light on the eve of earnings season which begins on Thursday with SkyCity's annual earnings report.
Xero led the index lower, dropping 3.9 percent to $14.51, a four-and-a-half month low, while fellow tech stock Orion Health Group fell 2.1 percent to $2.79.
Spark fell 3.8 percent to $3.26. The telecommunications retailer has gained 2.7 percent so far this year, outpacing the NZX 50 Index which has fallen 4 percent in that time.
Dual-listed A2 Milk dropped 3.8 percent to $1.77, with Westpac down 2.3 percent to $30.23 and ANZ shedding 1.8 percent to $24.
Heartland Bank fell 3.5 percent to $1.11, Z Energy lost 2.7 percent to $6.18, and Metro Performance Glass dropped 2.5 percent to $1.57.
Meridian Energy shed 2.1 percent to $2.30.
The top performer today was Warehouse Group, up 1.5 percent to $2.70. Vector rose 1.3 percent to $3.20, and Auckland International Airport advanced 1.3 percent to $5.65.
SkyCity rose 0.9 percent to $4.44, while Vital Healthcare Property Trust grew 0.8 percent to $1.89.
Outside the benchmark index, Wynyard Group fell 1.4 percent to $1.38, a three-month low.
The company, whose shareholders will vote next week on giving the board more freedom to issue shares, has signed a $2.8 million deal to provide its intelligence software services to a state policing agency.