New Zealand shares have fallen from a record high, led by Trade Me Group and Orion Health Group, as investors await earnings season for evidence of what is driving high valuations.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 6.92 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7310.390 on Tuesday, having gained about 16 percent this year. Within the index 27 stocks fell, 18 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $137 million.
It's the first time the market has fallen since June 24 when the result of the British referendum on the European Union became clear.
Trade Me, the auction website, fell 2.8 percent to $5.24. Orion declined 2.1 percent to $4.75. The stocks have gained 26 percent and 48 per cent respectively this year, two of the three biggest gainers on the index.
Fletcher Building, which has gained 28 percent this year, was unchanged at $9.40.
With little corporate news ahead of earnings season, and little in the way of profit warnings to change expectations, equity investors are keeping an eye on central bank activity, especially the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's latest meeting this week.
"This week is very much wait and see," said Greg Smith, head of research at Fat Prophets. "But when you boil it down, equities are pretty appealing when you look at the alternatives."
The lack of profit warnings in the run up to earnings season next month meant there was a belief that earnings season is going to be a pretty decent one, he said.
"Expectations aren't massively positive so there's room for some positive surprises."
Comvita, the manuka honey products company, fell 1.9 percent to $10.35 and A2 Milk fell 1.5 percent to $1.96.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which gets more than half its revenue in US dollars, fell 1.4 percent to $10.50 as the kiwi dollar gained late in the day.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust declined 1.8 percent to $2.23 and Heartland bank fell 1.5 percent to $1.33.
Air New Zealand was the biggest gainer on the index, rising 1.2 percent to $2.175. Z Energy rose 1.1 percent to $8.61.