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NZ shares inch lower on investor jitters

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017

New Zealand shares pulled back slightly on Monday as geopolitical tensions kept some investors on the sidelines while others looked to re-allocate some assets at the start of the new financial year.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 4.9 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7238.870. Within the index, 23 stocks gained, 17 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $116 million.

Markets across Asia were mixed with investors jittery after the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday.

And then a US official said a US Navy strike group will be moving toward the Korean peninsula as a show of force, in the face of growing concerns about North Korea's advancing weapons programme.

Overall, the market is in "a bit of a holding pattern," said Nigel Scott, director at Craigs Investment Partners. He said there is some asset re-allocation as the new financial year gets underway and as investors continue to hunt for yield.

Outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu Holdings took the biggest tumble on the day, falling 2.6 per cent to $1.90, followed by Meridian Energy, which shed 1.9 per cent to $2.84.

Investors will be eyeing up the first initial public offering of the year with aged-care group Oceania Healthcare's planned $200 million capital raise to cut debt and potentially buy new development sites.

Oceania, owned by funds managed by Macquarie Group, will list on the NZX and ASX, and will set an offer price in a bookbuild on April 11 and 12. It's expected to start trading on the NZX and ASX on May 5, it said.

Outside the benchmark index, jewellery retailer Michael Hill International shed 3.3 per cent to $1.45.

In the other direction, manuka honey company Comvita rose 2.3 per cent to $7.13 on some bargain hunting after the stock fell sharply on a recent downgrade.

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