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NZ shares fall, Comvita continues to weigh

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand stocks fell on Tuesday, weighed by ongoing worries about Comvita. © JASON REED/Reuters New Zealand stocks fell on Tuesday, weighed by ongoing worries about Comvita. New Zealand stocks fell on Tuesday, weighed by ongoing worries about Comvita.

There was also weaker sentiment across the Tasman as banking stocks took a tumble, as well as some profit taking in blue-chips like Fletcher Building and Ebos Group.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 14 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7412.12 Within the index, 23 stocks fell, seven were unchanged and 20 rose. Turnover was $134 million. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.6 per cent in late trading.

Comvita led the market lower, falling 3.6 per cent to $6.10, extending its decline after the discovery of the myrtle rust fungal plant in the Far North.

"It's not hard to see why Comvita is down as markets don't like uncertainty," said Hamilton Hindin Greene broker James Smalley.

"Investors will be watching the headlines for the impact over the next few weeks and months to see if it will have an impact," he said.

Dual-listed banking stocks fell as banking shares were weaker across the Tasman after the four big banks said they working hard to cut costs to maintain earnings momentum.

Westpac shed 3 per cent to $35.27 while ANZ fell 2.5 per cent to $31.20. Locally owned lender Heartland Bank fared better, adding 2.9 per cent to $1.75.

Mr Smalley noted that there was some profit taking in stocks including Fletcher Building given its recent gains.

The stock may also have been impacted on reports that the Commerce Commission was investigating a complaint that Fletcher Building sold substandard steel. Fletcher Building ended down 1.9 per cent at $8.48.

Sanford shed 2.1 per cent to $7.10 but Mr Smalley said the volumes were thin and it may have just been someone looking to sell down their holding.

In the other direction, New Zealand Refining posted the biggest gain. It added 3.4 per cent to $2.43.

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