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NZ shares drop on weak offshore leads

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/03/2018 Sophie Boot

© Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images New Zealand shares fell, on weak offshore leads and local stocks giving up dividend rights, with Sky Network Television, New Zealand Refining Co and Mercury New Zealand declining.

The S/NZX50 Index dropped 40.51 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8,432.63. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 21 were unchanged, and eight rose. Turnover was worth $154 million.

"There has been a bit of a negative lead from offshore, quite a big deal didn't go through with Broadcom and Qualcomm in the US," said Greg Easton, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

US President Donald Trump blocked a planned takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based rival Broadcom on grounds of national security, with the deal slated to create the world's third-largest microchip maker if it went ahead.

"That put some spooks through the market and that has flowed through into the rest of the world a little bit," Mr Easton said.

Sky Network Television was the worst performer on the local index, down 5.8 per cent, or 13 cents, to $2.11. It gave up rights to a 7.5 cent interim dividend.

"Certainly the bottom end of the market has been hit by [stocks giving up dividend rights], both Sky TV and NZ Refining went ex-div, although Sky has given up a bit more than the dividend," Mr Easton said.

"Obviously people have been holding on for the dividend for some reason, and now they're just giving up. It has been a long slide for them."

New Zealand Refining Co fell 4.5 per cent, or 11 cents, to $2.35. It shed a 12 cent final dividend.

Other benchmark index stocks to give up dividends Wednesday were Mercury New Zealand, which dropped 4.5 cents to $3.225, compared to its 6 cents per share interim dividend.

Investore Property dropped 3 cents to $1.38 while shedding a 1.86 cent dividend, Vital Healthcare dropped 1 cent to $2.12, compared to its 2.125 cent dividend and Metlifecare shed 1 cent to $5.84 while dropping a 3.25 cent dividend.

Synlait Milk was the best performer, up 2.3 per cent to $8.08. Heartland Bank rose 1.7 per cent to $1.80 and Z Energy gained 1.2 per cent to $6.95.

Outside the benchmark index, Trilogy International gained 2.2 per cent to $2.83. It is set to de-list from NZX with shareholders backing a $211 million takeover from China's Citic Capital Partners at a special meeting.

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