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Mercury, Auckland Airport lead index down

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/09/2016 Sophie Boot

Auckland Airport © Courtesy of Auckland Airport Auckland Airport New Zealand's share slump continued for a second day, with Mercury and Auckland International Airport leading the index lower.

The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 30.52 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7,249.24. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 24 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $146 million.

The index bounced early in the day, having dropped 2.5 per cent on Monday in response to Friday's Wall Street sell-off, but was back in the red by the close.

Asian markets were mixed in the afternoon's trading, with NZ shares again declining by more than Australia's S&P/ASX 200 which was down 0.1 per cent.

"It's been a theme for quite some time that we've continually outperformed Australia," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.

"There have been some quite sharp corrections, bearing in mind that we've seen some prolific runs up as well. The market's had a very, very strong year but things can't always continue that way."

Mercury was the worst performer, down 7.4 per cent, or 23 cents, to $2.90. It gave up rights to an 8.6 cent final dividend and a 4 cent special dividend.

"That [dividend] speaks for half of it but not the other half," Price said. "What we've seen globally is a bit of a rotation out of utilities and safe stocks into stocks that are more cyclical."

Auckland International Airport fell 2.9 per cent to $6.815, Ryman Healthcare dropped 2.6 per cent to $9.34, and Vector was down 2.1 per cent to $3.20.

Argosy Property gave up rights to a 1.525 cent interim dividend and declined 1.5 cents to $1.14.

Comvita was the biggest gainer, up 5 per cent to $11.02. The stock has gained 25 per cent this year, having joined the NZX 50 index in April.

Two of Monday's biggest decliners, Tower and Air New Zealand, gained, with Tower up 2.4 per cent to $1.065 and Air NZ gaining 2.6 per cent to $1.985.

Nuplex, which was in the NZX50, delisted from the NZX and ASX.

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