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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares down, Air NZ and Vector fall, as markets mixed ahead of May's Brexit speech and Trump inauguration

Tuesday 17th January 2017

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 New Zealand shares dipped, led lower by Air New Zealand and Vector, with Arvida Group and Tegel Group Holdings rising.

The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 11.98 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,062.96. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 20 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $72.3 million.

Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management, said the local market was in a holding pattern ahead of next month's results season, with little news from listed companies. 

Air New Zealand led the local index lower, down 1.6 percent to $2.205, while Vector fell 1.5 percent to $3.19 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group declined 1.5 percent to $31.85. 

"There's a sense from offshore markets post 'Trump Bump' - people are having a think about how wise that is as comments from the president-elect continue unabated," Goodson said, noting markets are also waiting for British prime minister Theresa May's speech overnight local time, with reports May will use the speech to signal a so-called "hard Brexit" from the European Union and to leave the EU's single market.

Asian markets were mixed in the afternoon's trading, with Australia's ASX 200 down 0.8 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 0.4 percent and Japan's Nikkei 400 down 0.9 percent at 5:10 New Zealand time.

Arvida Group was the best performer, up 3.1 percent to $1.35. Tegel Group Holdings rose 2.2 percent to $1.38, Kathmandu Holdings gained 1.6 percent to $1.90, and Infratil advanced 1.1 percent to $2.895.

ANZ Bank New Zealand dropped 1.5 percent to $31.85. New Zealand's biggest lender today appointed Stewart Taylor as chief financial officer, Craig Mulholland as managing director of wealth and David Bricklebank as general counsel and company secretary. Taylor was the finance head of ANZ's commercial and agri division, while Mulholland was general counsel and company secretary until his promotion. Bricklebank was previously associate general counsel. 

Outside the benchmark index, New Zealand Oil & Gas gained 0.8 percent to 64 cents. It has taken control of Cue Energy Resources almost two years after launching a hostile takeover of the ASX-listed company, saying the move provides exposure to production and exploration interests in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

NZOG bought 13.5 million Cue shares at a total cost of A$1.1 million, or 8.32 Australian cents a share, to lift its stake to 50.01 percent. In 2015, NZOG made a hostile takeover bid for Cue at 10 Australian cents a share after buying 19.99 percent of the company. Cue shares last traded at 9.4 Australian cents and have soared 96 percent in the past 12 months.

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