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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as trade tailwind slows

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as trade tailwind slows; Spark, Z Energy decline

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 4 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares snapped five days of gains as optimism over the cooling of US-China tensions abated. Spark New Zealand declined as new accounting standards prompted it to adopt new earnings measures.

The S&P/NZX 50 decreased 10.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,865.76. Within the index 25 stocks fell, 14 rose, and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $110.6 million.

Trading across Asia was more muted today after a strong gain Monday after US and Chinese presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping adopted a calmer stance in their trade dispute.

"We had a good day yesterday and things were quite good overnight, but it wasn't enough to lift us again," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr. "The volumes are still pretty quiet and I think that'll be the case as we wind down until Christmas."

Spark declined 1.5 percent to $4.21, with 4.5 million shares changing hands, compared to its average 2.9 million. The telecommunications company yesterday closed at its highest price since divesting Chorus as a standalone company. Today, it updated analysts on new earnings measures as it adopts the latest accounting standards, listing rules and accounts for Spark's new agile operating structure. Chorus decreased 0.2 percent to $4.75 on light volumes.

Z Energy fell 1.8 percent to $5.62 on half its average volume after acknowledging the government-ordered market study into transport fuels. Price noted the government has toned down its rhetoric from claiming consumers were being "fleeced" to now wanting to ensure people are paying a fair price. New Zealand Refining dropped 2.1 percent to $2.30 on slightly higher volumes than usual.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare decreased 1.9 percent to $13 as the kiwi dollar rose to five-month high. The breathing mask maker generates more than half its revenue in US dollars.

Vector slipped 0.3 percent to $3.30 on average volumes after a partial win in the Court of Appeal over the terms of its contracts with retailers.

Synlait Milk climbed 5 percent to $9.75 on light volumes and A2 Milk gained 2.8 percent to $11.22 on average volumes. A2 yesterday said it will meet China's new cross-border e-commerce requirements affecting its sales of Platinum infant formula.

Fletcher Building was unchanged at $4.80 on a slightly busier volume of 1.8 million, while Stride Property increased 0.5 percent to $1.87 on 1.4 million shares, compared to it 276,000 90-day average.

Of companies with volumes of more than one million shares, Meridian rose 0.5 percent to $3.315, Sky Network Television fell 1.3 percent to $2.27, Genesis Energy decreased 0.2 percent to $2.50, Contact Energy was down 0.3 percent at $5.88, Property for Industry increased 0.3 percent to $1.72, Kiwi Property Group slipped 0.4 percent to $1.355, and Goodman Property Trust was unchanged at $1.56.

Outside the benchmark index, Delegat Group was unchanged at $9.76 after affirming guidance for an 8 percent increase in global wine sales and a 12 percent rise in operating profit.


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