1 May 2014

NZX 50 falls after record increase

6:27 pm on 1 May 2014

New Zealand shares fell on Thursday, the benchmark Top 50 Index sinking 23 points to 5209 from Wednesday's record.

Hamilton, Hinden, Green director Grant Williamson said the local market had outperformed major markets this week and investors were taking profits.

He said Telecom's stocks have performed extremely well this year to date, but profit taking was down a bit on Thursday.

"As is Sky City which has also had a very good period, Port of Tauranga is another one, just a number of stocks that have performed extremely well just investors deciding to take a little bit off the table."

Telecom shares eased 3.5 cents to $2.73.5, but on Wednesday Telecom reached its highest level since August 2012.

Sky City shares fell 16 cents to $4.07 and Port of Tauranga shares dropped 15 cents to $14.25.

Comvita shares rose 12 cents to $3.22. The company says it expects to post a $7.5 million annual profit, up nearly 2 percent on the previous year.

Dollar eases against the US

The New Zealand dollar eased slightly against the US dollar on Thursday although around 5pm it was still about half a cent higher than at the same time on Wednesday.

Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer said the kiwi got a big push on Wednesday night after the United States released its GDP report which was much weaker than expected.

"In disappointment the market sold US dollars heavily and bought a range of currencies against it - the kiwi dollar was one of the beneficiaries."

Mr Speizer said that pushed kiwi-US exchange rate up from about 85.5 cents to 86.33, but on Thursday it has ranged in the low to mid 86's.

Economic growth in the United States slowed to an annual rate of just 0.1 percent in the March quarter.

At about 5pm on Thursday, the kiwi was trading at 86.15 US cents, 92.7 Australian cents, 51.05 British pence, 0.621 euro, 88.11 yen and 5.39 renminbi.