8 Apr 2014

Shares fall sharply for second day

6:21 pm on 8 April 2014

New Zealand shares fell sharply for a second day, the benchmark Top 50 Index shedding 44 points to fall by nearly 1 percent to 5032.

Harbour Asset Management analyst Craig Stent said the New Zealand market had taken its lead from the United States market again. The key tech index in the US, the Nasdaq, had its worst three-day decline since 2011.

"We're starting to see a continuation of the biotech retreat, and we've seen that follow through here in New Zealand," Mr Stent said.

Xero shares fell as much as 17 percent to as low as $29.50 but recovered to close at $31.50.

Geoop shares dropped 21 cents to $1.39, Wynyard shares slumped 20 cents to $2.45, SLI Systems shares eased 8 cents to $1.95 and TradeMe shares fell 6 cents to $3.85.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares rose 2 cents to $4.07 and Sky Network Television shares climbed 2 cents to $6.28.

Dollar rises

The New Zealand dollar rose against the currencies of all the nation's major trading partners.

ANZ senior foreign exchange strategist Sam Tuck said the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's (NZIER) business confidence survey left investors feeling confident New Zealand interest rates would rise further.

The NZIER survey of 661 firms found a net 52 percent expected economic conditions to improve, unchanged from the December quarter.

Trading activity, which closely mirrors economic growth, accelerated to its fastest pace since December 2003.

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 86.32 US cents, 92.91 Australian cents, 51.95 pence, 0.6281 euro, 88.87 yen and 5.36 renminbi.