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A2 milk price sours as NZ shares fall

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016 Sophie Boot
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New Zealand shares dipped for a second day in a row, led lower by A2 Milk Co and Steel & Tube Holdings while Fletcher Building rose on construction expectations.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 8.48 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,301.91. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 14 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $120 million.

A2 Milk Co was the worst performer on the index, down 3.1 per cent to $1.90. It faces a legal challenge in Australia from rival Lion Group over the science behind health-related claims about the milk. A2 had taken Lion to court over its milk brand's use of A2 protein claims, seeking an injunction and damages. Media reports on the issue might have frightened some investors, David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr, said.

The market was relatively quiet ahead of August's results season, Price said, having had a strong run-up over the past month.

Steel & Tube Holdings dropped 2.2 per cent to $2.18 and Trade Me Group fell 1.7 per cent to $5.15.

Trustpower declined 1.2 per cent to $8.10.

Ryman Healthcare dropped 0.9 per cent to $9.65. The country's biggest retirement village operator has bought a 4-hectare site in Auckland's Hobsonville for a $200 million development, marking its 10th village in New Zealand's largest city.

Fletcher Building rose 1.6 per cent to $9.55, and has gained 28 per cent this year.

Chorus gained 1.8 per cent to $4.54 and Orion Health Group rose 1.3 per cent to $4.81.

Outside the main index, Allied Farmers shares jumped 16 per cent to 5.2 cents and Abano Healthcare gained 1.5 per cent to $8.10.

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