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Shares join global retreat as oil declines

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017

New Zealand shares joined a global retreat on Wednesday as weaker oil prices weighed on energy stocks.

A downgrade of Australia's major banks saw dual-listed companies including Fletcher Building fall, while Air New Zealand declined in heavy trading.

The S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 59.42 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7527.11, having touched a record high Tuesday.

Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 11 rose, and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $180 million, of which $60 million was in Air New Zealand shares.

Stocks across Asia declined, following Wall Street's lead, after oil prices fell to a seven-month low as efforts to curb global production struggle to gain traction.

Dual-listed shares led the market lower, with Fletcher Building falling 2.8 per cent to $7.77, Chorus declining 2.3 per cent to $4.62, and Xero down 2.3 per cent to $25.30. Westpac dropped 2.2 per cent to $31.19 and ANZ fell 2 per cent to $28.79.

"We've got a flow on impact from weaker oil - BHP and that are all down in Australia - that's created a level of unsettledness right through the markets," said Rickey Ward, NZ equities manager at JBWere in Auckland.

Transport fuels company Z Energy fell 1.3 per cent to $7.55 and energy explorer New Zealand Oil & Gas dropped 1.4 per cent to 64 cents.

Air New Zealand fell 2.5 per cent to $3.17 with 19.1 million shares changing hands, the biggest volume since the government sold down its stake in late 2013.

The airline's shares have jumped 48 per cent so far this year as the carrier upgraded earnings as New Zealand continues to experience strong tourism numbers.

"It had been punished a bit on expectations earnings would be down this year in the face of higher oil prices and increased competition but things have turned their way," Mr Ward said.

Tourism Holdings posted the biggest gain on the day, up 3.2 per cent to $3.95 after the campervan rental group raised earnings guidance.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund increased 0.2 per cent to $5.94. Dairy prices fell at the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction.

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