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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares down, led lower by A2 and Z

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares down, led lower by A2 and Z

By Sophie Boot

July 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares dropped, led lower by A2 Milk Co and Z Energy, while Trustpower and Summerset gained.

The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 28.5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,917.59. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 19 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $90.1 million.

"There's very light turnover but again our index is being led down by A2, Z, Synlait and Port of Tauranga," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "A2 makes up a good chunk of the index, and if it is having a weaker day it has an impact on the index as a whole."

A2 led the index lower, down 2.4 percent to $10.75.

"It has been priced to perfection and a number of investors are thinking perhaps they'll take a bit off the top. It really follows what happens in Australia as well where it is down today too," McIntyre said.

Z fell 1.8 percent to $7.17. Yesterday, the country’s biggest fuel retailer cut full-year earnings guidance by $30 million due to an extended shutdown at the Marsden Point oil refinery and high crude prices in the June quarter.

It is now forecasting operating earnings of $420 million to $455 million for the year through March 2019, down from previous guidance of $450 million to $485 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and changes in financial instruments.

"Even though that downgrade is mostly one-off in nature, you have seen retail pump prices increase with the extra taxes," McIntyre said. "We've seen a bit of a pricing shock and volumes are back to a declining trend. A number of investors are taking a bit off the top, it's traded well for volume today."

Goodman Property Trust dropped 1.7 percent to $1.46, Pushpay Holdings fell 1.7 percent to $4.18, and Synlait Milk declined 1.4 percent to $10.70. Port of Tauranga dipped 1.2 percent to $5.01.

Trustpower was the best performer, up 2.1 percent to $5.77. The company gave an investor day presentation on Tuesday which McIntyre said has been very warmly received by market, due to the company saying there was potential for them to continue with special dividends.

"It's been well supported by income investors because they will end up being one of the higher yielding electricity stocks on the market, and when interest rates are low, investors are seeking yields," McIntyre said.

Summerset gained 1.7 percent to $7.80, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.6 percent to $32.06 and Kathmandu Holdings advanced 1.6 percent to $3.16.

(BusinessDesk)

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