NZ stocks fall in sea of red

  • 24/08/2015
NZ stocks fall in sea of red

New Zealand shares have had their biggest fall in four years, joining a global selloff after weak Chinese manufacturing data added to concern about the world's second-largest economy and sapped risk appetite.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 143.87 points, or 2.5 percent, to 5607.32 today.

Within the index, every stock bar Spark New Zealand dropped. Turnover was above average at $190 million.

"It's one of those things - stocks go up in escalators and come down in elevators," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting software firm, led the benchmark index lower, down 8.1 percent to $13.80 while A2 Milk declined 5.5 percent to 69 cents.

Chorus shares fell 4.6 percent to $2.625 after the telecommunications network operator reported a 39 percent decline in annual profit to $91 million as the lower regulated price for its copper-based services generated weaker revenue.

Auckland International Airport declined 4.2 percent to $4.99, despite beating its own guidance with a 3.8 percent gain in underlying annual earnings and saying profit on that measure may rise as much as 8.3 percent in 2016.

Property investors and other defensive stocks fell to a lesser degree, Mr Smalley said.

DNZ Property Fund slipped 0.5 percent to $2.15, Z Energy declined 0.4 percent to $5.75, Property For Industry fell one percent to $1.52 and Precinct Properties New Zealand retreated 0.9 percent to $1.155.

Spark New Zealand rose 0.5 percent to $3.035, as investors flocked to the telecommunication provider, which produced an unexpectedly strong dividend forecast at last week's profit announcement.