By Sophie Boot
New Zealand shares dropped as some investors took advantage of the S&P/NZX 50 Index at a record high to sell stocks and lock in profits. SkyCity Entertainment Group extended its decline on its chief executive's resignation. Kathmandu Holdings and Orion Health Group gained.
The S&P/NZX 50 shed 24.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,730.29. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 23 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $212.8 million.The benchmark index has gained 6.8 percent so far this year to reach yesterday's record.
"We're having a little bit of retracement today - we had a massive performance over the last six weeks," said Shane Solly, director at Harbour Asset Management. "We're getting a little bit of profit taking, which is not surprising after a really strong rally."
SkyCity, which has been the subject of takeover speculation, led declines for a second straight session after chief executive Nigel Morrison announced on Thursday he had resigned after an eight-year tenure.
Sky TV dropped 2.3 percent to $4.65, having gained 3.7 percent this year.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.6 percent, with dual-listed banks ANZ and Westpac dropping. On the local bourse, ANZ lost 1.6 percent to $24.90, and Westpac dropped 1.4 percent to $31.69.
Kathmandu Holdings was the biggest gainer, up 3 percent to $1.70. It has risen 5.8 percent this year, having posted a first-half profit of $9.4 million, met guidance, and affirmed full-year forecast profit of $30.2 million.
Orion Health Group advanced 2.9 percent to $3.95, an eight-month high.
Kiwi Property Group dropped 1 percent to $1.45. New Zealand's biggest listed property investor has agreed to buy 50 percent of Hamilton's The Base shopping centre from Tainui Group Holdings for $192.5 million and offered $197.5 million for the balance.
Outside the main index, Michael Hill International was unchanged at $1 and has gained 1 percent this year.
Vista Group International gained 0.6 percent to $5.38. The cinema software and analytics firm bought movie website Flicks for an undisclosed sum.