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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares dropped, led lower by Comvita and Sky TV, ahead of earnings season

Thursday 2nd August 2018

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New Zealand shares fell in light trading, with Comvita and Sky Network Television leading the index lower.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 10.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,849.16. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 18 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $108.5 million. 

"We're in a holding pattern prior to earnings season which kicks off in about a week's time with AMP Capital and Sky City next Wednesday," said Grant Davies, investment advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "What we'll be looking out for in earnings season is forward guidance."

Comvita led the index lower, down 2.3 percent to $5.62, while Sky Network Television fell 2.2 percent to $2.65 and Mainfreight dropped 1.8 percent to $27.05. 

Fletcher Building fell 1.6 percent to $6.86 and Spark New Zealand declined 1.3 percent to $3.75.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp was the best performer, up 1.3 percent to $14.77. A2 Milk Co rose 1.1 percent to $10.44 and Metlifecare gained 1 percent to $6.08.

Outside the benchmark index, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand gained 0.9 percent to $3.35. It reported a 24 percent lift in first-half profit as it benefited from growth at NZX-listed residential property developer CDL Investments and a steady tourism market, although it warned it is seeing increased competition. 

"There's fairly heavy volume in the stock, and on the face of it fairly positive result with income and profit up over the period," Davies said. "There is a shortage of hotels in Auckland and Queenstown in particular, though they do note that competitors give them a bit of pressure in this market. They're just paring back expectations, which is fair enough given the run they've had of late." 

(BusinessDesk)

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