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NZ shares lose ground in jittery markets

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/05/2017

NZX signage  in Wellington.  (File photo) © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images NZX signage in Wellington. (File photo) New Zealand shares fell on Monday, led by A2 Milk and Air New Zealand, as weaker-than-expected data out of China compounded jitters after a ransomware attack and a missile test by North Korea.

The cyber attack locked up more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 22 points or 0.3 per cent to 7429.94. Within the index, 19 stocks rose, 11 were unchanged and 20 fell. Turnover was $161 million. Across the Tasman, the S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.2 per cent.

Trading in New Zealand was "very flow driven" given a dearth of domestic news, said Brad Gordon, investment adviser for Hobson Wealth Partners.

China's activity and spending data for April came in slightly below consensus, which likely weighed on sentiment given New Zealand and Australia's exposure to that market.

Investors may also have been sidelined after North Korea said it had successfully tested a newly developed mid-to-long range missile on Sunday aimed at verifying the capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear warhead".

A2 Milk, which has significant exposure to China, shed 2.5 per cent to $3.45 while Air New Zealand ended down 1.8 per cent at $2.75.

Precinct Properties NZ shed 2.0 per cent to $1.20. Kathmandu ended down 2.0 per cent at $1.99 despite news that retail sales surged in the first quarter. Spark fell 1.7 per cent to $3.68.

In the other direction, Trustpower added 1.6 per cent to $5.10 after it lifted annual profit 37 per cent.

Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand's biggest listed retirement village operator, announced plans for a sixth village in Australia, a $100 million development in Geelong. The stock added 0.4 per cent to $8.62.

Goodman Property Trust added 1.2 per cent to $1.23 while Infratil added 1.2 per cent to $2.985.

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