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NZ shares drop as A2 Milk gives up gains

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/12/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares fell, dragged lower by A2 Milk Co on negative news from an Australian rival, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained after a positive result in court.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 27.88 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,904.86. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 17 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $155 million.

A2 Milk Co led the index lower, down 11.6 per cent to $2.28.

The shares had gained 19 per cent since last Tuesday when the company updated shareholders at its annual meeting in Sydney, but dropped today after rival formula producer Bellamy's said Chinese demand had dropped due to regulatory changeover.

"An Australian baby formula manufacturer has come out with guidance not as good as expected, due to waning demand in the Chinese baby formula market," Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said.

"Their share price has taken a real hit, and that's certainly had an effect on A2. It was a little firmer first thing this morning, but the announcement certainly turned it down."

Meridian Energy fell 1.9 per cent to $2.55, Sky TV dropped 1.9 per cent to $4.66, and Fletcher Building declined 1.8 per cent to $10.26.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was the best performer, up 4.3 per cent to $8.56. The company, which is battling rival ResMed over intellectual property for face and nasal masks, has succeeded in overturning the second of two preliminary injunctions against it in Germany, allowing the company to resume sales of the affected products in that country.

Tegel Group Holdings rose 2.7 per cent to $1.53 and Port of Tauranga advanced 1.9 per cent to $3.82.

Property for Industry gained 2 per cent to $1.57. The commercial property investor expects its portfolio to lift 9 per cent in value this year amid high demand. The value of PFI's portfolio of 84 properties is estimated to have increased to $1.09 billion this month, from $1.01b as at June 30 and from $987m at the start of the year.

Outside the main index, IkeGPS gained 14.3 per cent to 40 cents. Cavalier dropped 1.2 per cent to 81 cents and Augusta Capital was unchanged at $1.04, while NPT was also unchanged at 67 cents.

Intueri Education Group rose 5.7 per cent to 5.6 cents. It will get an $A3.5m ($NZ3.7m) payment from the Australian Department of Education and Training (DET) for 2015, but is still waiting to hear whether it will get a further $A6m ($NZ6.3m) for 2016 and whether it can join that country's new student loan payment scheme.

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