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NZ shares mixed on quiet trading day

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/01/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares were mixed, with trading still quiet. Spark and A2 Milk Co fell while New Zealand Refining and Fonterra Shareholders Fund rose.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 6 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,063.59. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 15 fell and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $112.1 million.

Spark was the worst performer on the index, down 3.4 per cent to $3.57.

"It had a reasonable day yesterday but has been sold off today, most of the year it's been clipping above $10 million traded each day but it's pretty light trading today," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Tegel Group Holdings dropped 4 cents to $1.36. It gave up rights to a 3.45 cent dividend today. The share has traded below its listing price of $1.55 consistently since early November. Mercury New Zealand fell 1.5 per cent to $3.02.

A2 Milk dropped 0.9 per cent to $2.26. Its rival, ASX-listed Bellamy's Australia, slid another 17 per cent following Wednesday's slump when it cut its profit forecast for the second time, announced chief executive Laura McBain's exit, and tweaked the terms of its supply contract with Fonterra Cooperative Group.

"They're holding up really well compared to what we've seen from Bellamy's, they have provided the markets with some strong updates as to their own earnings particularly their channels distribution," McIntyre said

New Zealand Refining was the best performer, up 2.6 per cent to $2.72.

Infratil gained 1.8 per cent to $2.80, Metro Performance Glass rose 1.6 per cent to $1.91 and Z Energy advanced 1.6 per cent to $7.60.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund rose 1.3 per cent to $6.22. Milk collections by Fonterra this season are continuing to track below the previous year, mainly due to lower production on the North Island. Dairy prices soared in the second half of 2016, but have since fallen back slightly.

"They pretty much confirmed what the market had suspected, that milk collections are down because farmers have been culling non-performing stock," McIntyre said.

"That's been seen as good for GlobalDairyTrade auctions as if supply is low the price may increase and that may reflect into the margin or value-added side of their business.

Comvita advanced 0.3 per cent to $7.95. The manuka honey products company has sold its Medihoney brand to US partner Derma Sciences for about $19 million and will reap a further $11 million selling Derma shares in a takeover offer of the Nasdaq-listed company.

Outside the benchmark. Hellaby Holdings rose 0.3 per cent to $3.55. ASX-listed Bapcor has increased its stake in Hellaby to 51.4 per cent as part of its takeover of the company.

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