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NZ shares fall as investors book profits

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

NZX signage  in Wellington.  (File photo) © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images NZX signage in Wellington. (File photo) New Zealand shares fell on Tuesday, led by companies that have outperformed the index this year as investors took profits from Heartland Bank and Chorus.

Trading was muted ahead of corporate earnings reports later in the week.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 22 points or 0.3 per cent to 7407.61. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, eight were unchanged and 23 fell. Turnover was $127 million.

Heartland Bank led the market lower, shedding 2.8 per cent to $1.74. It has gained 16 per cent so far this year, outperforming the 7.7 per cent increase in the benchmark over the same period.

Telecommunications network operator Chorus fell 2 per cent to $4.49, having gained 13 per cent this year.

Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said investors had opted to take some profit given recent gains. Chorus "has had a particularly good run, ever since its inclusion in the ASX", he said.

Mr McIntyre said trading volumes were light ahead of company earnings later this week, and that New Zealand's market had bucked a positive session in the US and Australia, which were largely driven by higher oil prices.

Brent crude has gained nearly 9 per cent over the last week.

"New Zealand seems to lack a few of those listed entities and we are slightly softer," he said. New Zealand Oil & Gas was unchanged at 63 cents and New Zealand Refining was unchanged at $2.46.

Ryman Healthcare, which reports on Friday, added 0.7 per cent to $8.68. Goodman Property Trust, also due to report later this week, added 0.4 per cent to $1.235.

Fletcher Building fell 2.4 per cent to $8.12 which Mr McIntyre said was surprising after news the Crown-owned housing agency, Housing New Zealand, will build a net 17,207 new affordable homes over the next decade in the government's biggest new state housing announcement in more than eight years in government.

Metro Performance Glass, which is also tied to building activity, dropped 2.2 per cent to $1.32.

Methven sank 13 per cent at $1.07 after the company said it expects annual profit will fall by as much as 15 per cent.

Units in Fonterra Shareholders' Fund were flat at $6 as investors await the results of the overnight dairy auction.

Xero led gainers, adding 3.7 per cent to $24.05.

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