NZ shares fall ahead of announcements
New Zealand shares dropped ahead of two cash rate announcements, with Orion Health Group, Air New Zealand and Scales Corp falling.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 27.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,281.17. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 15 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $194.6 million.
The US Federal Reserve is due to announce whether it will hold or change interest rates early morning Thursday time, while New Zealand's Reserve Bank's official cash rate review will be announced on Thursday morning. The local market plunged last week amid fears that the Fed would raise rates, but that selling has calmed.
"We are seeing quite big ranges on a number of stocks and not necessarily with large volumes either," said David Price, broker at Forsyth Barr.
"Movements are driven by flow, but not necessarily much volume behind it. What we've seen is a rotation out of interest-rate-sensitive stocks and into more cyclical stocks in the last three weeks, Mr Draghi came out and said well, no more medicine for the patient, and that's making people refocus."
In early September, the European Central Bank's president Mario Draghi said there were limits to monetary policy and dashed market hopes that it would expand its stimulus program.
Orion Health Group led the index lower, down 5.3 percent to $3.60, and has gained 18.8 percent this year.
Air New Zealand dropped 3.3 percent to $1.89, Scales Corp fell 2.8 percent to $3.11, and A2 Milk Co dropped 2.6 percent to $1.86.
The biggest gainers were the dual-listed banks, with ANZ up 2.4 percent to $28.22 and Westpac advancing 1.5 percent to $30.90.
Auckland International Airport rose 2.3 percent to $7.21. The price veered between $7.09 and $7.30 on Wednesday, with 1.2 million shares traded
Kathmandu Holdings gained 2 percent to $2.02, and has advanced 27 percent this year. The Christchurch-based retailer lifted annual profit 64 percent to $33.5 million and will pay a bigger dividend after more rigorous inventory management helped fatten margins.
Outside the main index, Synlait Milk was unchanged at $3.507. The dairy company has completed the institutional component of its rights offer, raising about $59 million.