New Zealand stocks down

06:18, Jan 16 2012

New Zealand stocks fell today, taking the lead from negative sentiment offshore in the wake of nine European Union countries having their credit ratings reduced by agency Standard & Poors.

The NZX50 index was down 0.5 per cent or 16.82 points to 3210.63.

Direct Broking trader Karl Williscroft said there was not a great deal of note on the local market today, with the mood of investors lacklustre.

"There was a bit of a negative sentiment and effect rolling through from the mixed messages coming through from the international markets, primarily of course the European and the Greek scenario with the downgrades through various entities as well as the reporting season. I think a lot of people are starting to follow the reporting season through the US to see if they can extrapolate that through to companies a bit closer to home," Williscroft said.

"Generally we are starting to see a bit more volume coming through but overall there's still a lack of liquidity, and that's I think just reflecting the time of year that we're in."

The leading decliner was rubber good and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup, down 3.7 per cent to $1.30.


Infrastructure investment company Infratil fell 3.2 per cent to $1.82. Whiteware manufacturer and exporter Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down 2.8 per cent to 35c.

"With respect to Fisher & Paykel Appliances  they have actually only come off 1 cent but because it's come under so much selling pressure the last few months, 1c is actually the best part of 3 per cent now. Although it's only 1c it has quite a bit of influence now," Williscroft commented.

Vital Healthcare slipped 2.6 per cent to $1.12. Rakon, maker of crystal timing devices used in electronics, fell 2 per cent to 48c.

Bank Westpac was down 2 per cent to $26.50, and ANZ Banking Group fell 1.8 per cent to $27.00.

Australian food ingredient maker Goodman Fielder dropped 1.8 per cent to 54c, while dual listed wealth manager AMP fell 1.6 per cent to $5.45.

Contact Energy, the largest listed electricity company, was down 1.4 per cent to $5.02.

Would-be bank Heartland New Zealand led the gainers with a 2.1 per cent rise to 48c.

Carpet maker Cavalier, which yesterday announced its chief executive Wayne Chung was resigning and would be replaced by its chief operating officer Colin McKenzie, rose 2 per cent to $2.55.

New Zealand Refining Co rose 1.7 per cent to $2.95. Commercial property investor AMP NZ Office lifted 1.2 per cent to 85c while Argosy Property was up 0.6 per cent to 80c.

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International was up 1.2 per cent to 86c. Steel & Tube Holdings, the construction materials supplier, was up 0.9 per cent to $2.17.

New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 0.7 per cent to 73c. National carrier Air New Zealand rose 0.6 per cent to 88c. Freightways, the express package and information management company, was up 0.6 per cent to $3.58.