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Shares down as Spark, Sky continue losses

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6 days ago Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares fell on Friday, led lower by Sky Television and Spark, while Auckland International Airport gained after its first-half profit rose 19 per cent.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 6.46 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 7,093.52. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 15 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $139.9 million.

"After a pretty heavy down day yesterday, we're still giving back a bit of ground today," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "I'd have to say reporting season so far hasn't done much for the market, though it's still early days. There seems to be a weight in selling in some of these stocks.

''Volumes are relatively light, there's still a bit of nervousness around and I'd say we're going to have to start seeing some pretty reasonable results to see the share market start to trade significantly higher than where it trades at the moment."

Spark led the index lower for a second day in a row, down 2.3 per cent to $3.48. It fell Thursday after lifting first-half earnings 3.5 per cent to $178 million and affirming its annual earnings outlook.

"It's lost further ground today, the result wasn't that bad but market expectations are getting a bit ahead of performance," Mr Williamson said.

Sky TV dropped 2 per cent to $4.41. The shares declined Thursday after Sky said it won't delay a merger with Vodafone to give other telecommunications companies, including Spark, time to appeal it in court if the transaction is approved by the Commerce Commission.

Skycity Entertainment Group was the best performer, up 1.8 per cent to $4.04. ANZ Banking Group rose 1.5 per cent to $32.87 and Summerset Group advanced 1.2 per cent to $4.90

Auckland Airport rose 0.6 per cent to $6.79. The airport posted a 19 per cent gain in first-half profit to $123.5 million, a period when New Zealand's busiest gateway added airlines with increased capacity and new services and routes, and the country enjoyed record tourist numbers.

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