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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall amid ongoing concerns about global growth

Tuesday 29th January 2019

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New Zealand shares fell, in line with declines in the US and across Asia, amid ongoing concerns about global growth, particularly in China.

Analysts downgrading their forecasts for Australian healthcare device maker Resmed also weighed on New Zealand rival Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, one of the country's top 10 stocks.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index shed 108.14 points, or 1.2 percent, to 9,006.38. Within the index, 10 stocks rose, 33 fell and 7 were unchanged. Turnover was $127.25 million.

“Resmed has had a very poor day and that’s had a big impact on Fisher & Paykel,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Resmed shares were down more than 11 percent on Friday and fell more than 12 percent today after a poor December quarter report – the Australian market was closed for the Australia Day holiday yesterday.

Fisher & Paykel shares fell 3.8 percent to $12.70.

A December quarter report from US-based heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar also fell short of analysts’ expectations, with the company blaming the impact of tariffs and the trade war between the US and China. Annual profit is likely to be less than analysts have been expecting because of China’s slowing economy, the company said, reinforcing reports from other companies, including Apple, about China’s drag on profit growth.

China is New Zealand's largest trading partner.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down almost 0.6 percent as the New Zealand market closed and that didn’t help market heavyweight A2 Milk shares of which fell 2 percent to $12.15.

Synlait Milk, which manufactures A2’s Platinum brand of infant formula, fell 3.7 percent to $9.40.

Telecommunications company Spark New Zealand was the most active stock with 5.35 million shares traded. The stock fell 0.7 percent to $4.055.

On the positive side, shares of casino operator Sky City Entertainment rose 2.4 percent to $3.79 after it upgraded its profit expectations.

The company said that it was getting strong profits from high-rollers and its flagship Auckland casino also delivered a strong performance.

Normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 10 percent to $189 million for the six months ended Dec. 31.

SkyCity was the day’s largest gainer while Gentrack was the biggest decliner on slim volume. It fell 5.2 percent to $5.07 with 14,957 shares changing hands.

(BusinessDesk)

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