12 Mar 2014

Share market falls in mixed day

10:45 am on 12 March 2014

The sharemarket has fallen for a second day, the New Zealand Share Market's Top 50 Index shedding 16 points to 5102.

Murray & Co wealth management director Johnny Cochrane said the local market took its lead from the weaker Wall Street, and that the weaker-than-expected Chinese trade figures were also weighing on New Zealand stocks.

"It's a bit of mixed day. Fletcher Building down. Another heavyweight, Sky City, down. Auckland Airport down a tad as well," he said.

Fletcher Building shares sank 17 cents to $9.69, Sky City shares lost 4 cents to $3.90 and Auckland International Airport shares fell 6 cents to $3.81.

"On the positive side, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare continues at the strong rally that we've seen over recent months. Obviously a terrific company," Mr Cochrane said.

"In the same vein, Ebos has seen some selling abate that we saw in the last few months around concerns around the impact of a stronger Australian dollar that was having on its business and has resumed its upward trend as well."

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares rose 11 cents to $4.27 while Ebos shares climbed 20 cents to $10.40.

Chorus shares rose 1.5 cents to $1.57.5 after the telephone lines company announced beneficial changes to its contract to build about 70 percent of the ultrafast broadband network.

Shares in bladder cancer testing company Pacific Edge fell as low as $1.34 before closing down 6 cents at $1.44.

The NZX queried the company as to why its shares had dropped from $1.72 on 10 February but Pacific Edge said there was not material information it had not disclosed.

Dollar stronger

The New Zealand dollar is stronger against all the country's major trading partners.

Westpac currency strategist Imre Speizer said the market was anticipating a hike to the Official Cash Rate (OCR) on Thursday.

"When the Kiwi dollar appreciates against a number of major currencies, it's usually a sign that it's something to do with New Zealand specifically and we think it's just a case of the market pre-empting the Reserve Bank's almost-certain hike on Thursday.

"We expect them to hike by 25 basis points and we think there may still be a number of speculators who are jumping on the Kiwi currency bandwagon."

The OCR is expected to rise from 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent.

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 84.79 US cents, 93.93 Australian cents, 50.94 pence, 0.6115 euro and 87.59 yen.