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NZ shares fall, weighed by Comvita, Tegel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

Gains in Air New Zealand helped offset the fall as the local market outperformed Australia. © Getty Images Gains in Air New Zealand helped offset the fall as the local market outperformed Australia. New Zealand shares inched lower on Friday, led by manuka honey producer Comvita on jitters related to the discovery of a fungal plant and as Tegel Group declined on news its chairman was leaving after less than a year in the job.

Gains in Air New Zealand helped offset the fall as the local market outperformed Australia.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7365.50. Within the index, 32 stocks fell, 12 gained and six were unchanged. Turnover was $113 million.

"The market has been relatively strong against a weak lead from Australia," said Brad Gordon, investment adviser for Hobson Wealth Partners.

He said the Australian market has been weighed by a slide in iron ore and oil prices.

Comvita led the market lower, falling 6.5 per cent to $6.45 as investment analysts cut their valuation for the manuka honey products maker.

This coincided with yet another problem out of the Te Puke-based company's control with the discovery of myrtle rust in the Far North.

Tegel shed 6 per cent to $1.10 after the company said chairman James Ogden has unexpectedly quit the board effective immediately after less than a year overseeing the poultry company's direction as a publicly listed company.

Mr Ogden joined the Tegel's board ahead of its initial public offering in May last year when it raised $284 million selling shares at $1.55 apiece.

"It seems unusual, particularly when you are a company that's missed its prospectus forecasts," said Mr Gordon. "It doesn't read well," he said.

In the other direction, Air New Zealand added 2.7 per cent to $2.67.

Mr Gordon said investors were likely cheered by a recent investor update from the company.

Oceania Healthcare ended up at 80 cents, 1.3 per cent higher than its offer price of 79 cents on its first day of trading.

Oceania Healthcare raised $200 million through an IPO last month and listed Friday on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges under the ticker OCA.

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