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Brexit concerns play on investors' minds

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/06/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares were mixed amidst Brexit concerns; Spark New Zealand and Air New Zealand gained, while A2 Milk dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 19 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,888.56. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 15 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $175.8 million

"There's quite lacklustre buying in the market place, obviously there's still nervousness over the upcoming British vote," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, adding that volatility could see increased volume in the market as the EU referendum date of June 23 draws closer.

Spark advanced 2.4 per cent to $3.595.

"There's a little bit of rumour in the marketplace that they'll try to do something to negate the advantage Vodafone/Sky TV potential merger might have on demand," Williamson said.

Sky TV dipped 0.2 per cent to $4.98. The share price is up 8.7 per cent for the year, having plummeted in May as subscriber numbers dropped before being revived by news of the potential merger with Vodafone. Sky directors have recommended shareholders vote on July 6 in favour of the deal which will give Vodafone Europe a 51 per cent share of the combined group.

Air New Zealand gained 0.9 per cent to $2.14. The airline announced its passenger numbers for May, up 4 per cent on a year earlier, led by long-haul passengers to the Americas and the United Kingdom.

New Zealand Refining Co rose 3.1 per cent to $2.69 and Auckland International Airport gained 2.7 per cent to $6.46.

A2 Milk Co dipped 2.3 per cent to $1.73, having soared on Wednesday when the milk marketing company raised its full-year guidance and said it is well placed to cope with changes to infant formula regulations in China.

Kathmandu Holdings was down 2.7 per cent to $1.44, and Mainfreight dropped 2.3 per cent to $16.60.

Outside the main index, Trilogy International was unchanged at $4.

ASX-listed APN News & Media fell 1.6 per cent to 63 cents. The Auckland-based publisher and radio network operator will operate as a standalone listed company after the plan to demerge NZME got 99.98 per cent backing at a special meeting in Sydney. The deal frees up APN to focus on Australian radio and outside advertising business, while NZME can pursue its merger with rival Fairfax New Zealand.

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