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NZ shares fall into correction territory

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/11/2016 Sophie Boot

Sky TV dropped 3.6 per cent to $4.34 © Jason Alden/Bloomberg Sky TV dropped 3.6 per cent to $4.34 New Zealand shares dropped into correction territory, led lower by Metro Performance Glass and Sky TV while Xero gained after delivering its first-half results.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 74.82 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 6,778.93. Within the index, 36 stocks declined, eight were unchanged and seven rose. Turnover was $172.1 million.

The index has now fallen 10.5 per cent from its all-time high of 7,571.10 on Sept. 7. A fall of 10 per cent or more is regarded as a correction.

"We were the worst market in the world in October, down 5.4 per cent, but we're still up 10 per cent for the year - probably the only thing that gets close is the FTSE, but only in its own dollar terms," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.

Metro Performance Glass led the index lower, down 3.8 per cent to $2.05. Sky TV dropped 3.6 per cent to $4.34, while Metlifecare dropped 2.9 per cent to $5.45.

Scales Corp was the best performer on the index, up 3.2 per cent to $3.20. It has agreed to buy Hawke's Bay apple grower, packer, and marketer Longview Group Holdings for $20.5m, adding capacity to sell fruit into the fast-growing Asian market.

Xero gained 2.1 per cent to $17.25. The cloud-based accounting software firm narrowed its first-half loss for 2016 as revenue lifted 48 per cent, with its cash burn continuing to slow. Xero said its financial performance was impacted by the costs of transitioning from Rackspace to Amazon Web Services.

Mercury NZ fell 0.3 per cent to $3.

ANZ New Zealand dropped 0.3 per cent to $28.60. The local unit of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group posted a 9 per cent fall in annual earnings as its margins got squeezed by more expensive funding and stiff competition for mortgage lending, and as it dealt with more bad debts.

Outside the benchmark index, Briscoe Group rose 0.3 per cent to $3.66. The homewares retailer lifted third-quarter sales 8.4 per cent to $125.6 million after spending more on campaigns to woo customers, putting a squeeze on its margins.

NPT gained 2.9 per cent to 70 cents and Augusta Capital was unchanged at $1.02.

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