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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as investors cash in August gains; Tourism Holdings, A2 drop

Friday 7th September 2018

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New Zealand shares fell for a third session, taking their weekly decline to 2.3 percent, as investors cashed in some of August's gains in what was a strong month for the local market. Tourism Holdings and a2 Milk Co declined. 

The S&P/NZX 50 index decreased 6.21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 9,095.39. Within the index 20 stocks fell, 23 gained and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $122 million. 

The benchmark index hit a record on Aug. 29 and climbed 4.4 percent in the month as investors were buoyed by a relatively upbeat corporate earnings season. With global markets in a lull as traders await US President Donald Trump's decision on whether to impose a wider array of tariffs on Chinese goods, local investors have used the opportunity to cash in some of those gains. 

"We've had a lull over the last week from what's been an all-time high," said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management. "It's still pretty good in the global scheme of things." 

Solly said the market was having a "healthy pullback" and had absorbed "a couple of capital raisings" with the Macquarie-managed funds selldown of Oceania Healthcare and shortfall bookbuild of Steel & Tube Holdings this week. Oceania was unchanged at $1.13 and Steel & Tube gained 2.5 percent today. 

Tourism Holdings led the market lower, falling 4.3 percent to $5.60, giving up yesterday's gains when the rental campervan operator was the best performer on the bourse. 

Restaurant Brands New Zealand fell 2.2 percent to $7.57, while a2 Milk declined 2.2 percent to $11.62 and Kathmandu Holdings decreased 1.9 percent to $3.10. 

Sky Network Television dropped 1.9 percent to $2.12 after it was removed from S&P/ASX 300 index, effective from Sept. 24. Sky also shed rights to a dividend payment yesterday. 

Among other firms to shed dividend rights yesterday, Air New Zealand fell 1.6 percent to $3.16, Trade Me slipped 0.6 percent to $4.93, Heartland Bank rose 0.6 percent to $1.68, and Vector decreased 0.6 percent to $3.42. 

Ryman Healthcare gained 3 percent to $13.70, the biggest gain on the benchmark index today. Synlait Milk rose 2 percent to $13 and NZX increased 0.9 percent to $1.07. 

Among blue-chip stocks, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 0.7 percent to $14.90, Spark New Zealand increased 0.4 percent to $3.90, and Auckland International Airport decreased 0.3 percent to $6.86. Fletcher Building was unchanged at $6.20, as was Meridian Energy at $3.22. 

Orion Health Group was unchanged at $1.08 after independent adviser KordaMentha recommended shareholders back a proposal to carve up the company and return capital through a share buyback. The estimated buyback was reduced to $1.16-to-$1.26 per share due to uncertainty over the final wash-up. 

Liquidators for former NZX-listed software developer Wynyard Group today said shareholders may get a "very small" distribution and asked them to update their contact details. 

(BusinessDesk)

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