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NZX50 drops below 10,000 as it catches up with Aus decline

By Paul McBeth

June 4 (BusinessDesk) - The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped below the 10,000 for the first time in almost a month, as the local market caught up with Australia's slide yesterday.

The NZX50 sank 169.77 points, or 1.7 percent, to 9,948.22 at 1.30pm, on turnover of about $55.6 million. Of the top 50 stocks, 29 fell, 15 rose and six were unchanged.

A2 Milk led the market lower, sliding to a two-month, and was recently down 9.7 percent at $14.27. Synlait Milk, which supplies A2, fell 3.8 percent to $8.53.

"We are playing catch up with the Australian markets, which yesterday lost 1.25 percent," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was recently up 0.3 percent today.

Fletcher Building fell 1.7 percent to $5.16, recovering from a sharper sell-off in early trading after the country's biggest construction company and said it's completed the sale of Formica earlier than anticipated, and lowered its annual earnings guidance.

Software developers Pushpay Holdings and Gentrack Group were both down 3.4 percent at $3.66 and $5.10 respectively and Sky Network Television hit a new low, falling 1.7 percent to $1.18.

Summerset Group rose 0.4 percent to $5.56 after announcing plans for two new retirement villages, one in Whangarei and one in Cambridge. It expects to spend $290 million developing the sites. Ryman Healthcare edged up 0.1 percent to $11.59, Metlifecare rose 0.5 percent to $4.49, and Arvida Gropu increased 0.8 percent to $1.31.

Freighways rose 1 percent to $8.17, posting the biggest gain in early afternoon trading.

Spark New Zealand was the most active stock on a volume of 1.2 million shares. It fell 1.8 percent to $3.745.


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