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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares down, led lower by Metro Glass and Sky TV while Comvita, A2 rally

Monday 8th January 2018

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New Zealand shares fell, led lower by Metro Performance Glass and Sky Network Television, while Comvita, A2 Milk and Synlait Milk gained.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 30.07 points, or 0.4 percent, to 8,425.48. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 16 rose and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $77.3 million.

"We're underperforming today compared to global markets, and the strength of the Kiwi has had a little bit to do with that - we've bounced up nicely against the US dollar and the Aussie," said Grant Williamson, broker at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Almost all our largest stocks are underwater today so that has put a bit of pressure on the index."

"A number of trades have gone through today, but volumes are still not back to normal," Williamson said. "It will probably be another week before we really start to see volumes pick up."

Metro Performance Glass led the index lower, dropping 2.9 percent to $1, with Sky Network Television down 2.5 percent to $2.78 and Fletcher Building falling 1.5 percent to $7.69.

Comvita was the best performer, up 3 percent to $8.65. A2 Milk rose 1.1 percent to $8.36 and Synlait Milk gained 0.9 percent to $7.04.

Summerset Group gained 0.2 percent to $5.53. The retirement village operator and developer lifted fourth-quarter sales 31 percent, setting a quarterly record, due largely to a jump in the resale of occupation rights. Last month Summerset raised annual earnings guidance on the strength of resale volumes and margins, projecting underlying profit of between $77 million and $79 million in calendar 2017, up from a previous forecast of $72 million-to-$75 million.

"The company upgraded their profit a few weeks ago so that announcement today has had little response from the market," Williamson said.

Trustpower rose 0.3 percent to $6.04. The company owns 65 percent of King Country Energy, and has teamed up with  King Country Electric Power Trust, which owns 19.98 percent, to jointly offer $5 a share for the remaining shares in King Country Energy. The target company today said its independent committee has recommended shareholders accept the joint venture takeover offer.

(BusinessDesk)

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