Plummeting Sky drags market down

06:45, May 16 2012

New Zealand stocks were down today, dragged lower mainly by the plummeting price of pay TV operator Sky Network Television.

Its shares slipped after the Commerce Commission announced it would be investigating programming rights and agreements with retail service providers.

The NZX50 index fell 0.6 per cent or 20.40 points to 3514.50.

Craigs Investment Partners head dealer Bryon Burke said Sky TV accounted for around 13 points of the drop on the NZX overall.

"Generally our market has been following the world markets slightly although not quite to the same vein ... we are down a lot less than the Australian stocks."

Across the Tasman, the main bourse S&P/ASX200 index was down 2.2 per cent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 2.7 per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.4 per cent and the South Korean Kospi fell 3 per cent.

"We're rowing our own boat. Investors are quite measured here and obviously looking at where else they could put their money if they did sell. With interest rates at all time lows there are not a lot of options. If anything, people look at these downturns as an opportunity to increase their exposure to equities."

Burke added that investors were considering what was going to happen in Europe where talks continued with Greece likely to go back to the polls and uncertainty around if it would exit the euro zone.

Australian wealth manager AMP fell 4.8 per cent to $5.11. As gold prices continued to fall, down another 1.4 per cent to $1535.70 an ounce, OceanaGold struggled with a 3.5 per cent drop to $2.22.

Rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup Holdings fell 2.7 per cent to $1.43. Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector fell 2.5 per cent to $2.73.

Carpet maker Cavalier was down 2.4 per cent to $1.60. Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glassons fell 2.4 per cent to $4.00 while children's clothing company Pumpkin Patch fell 1.1 per cent to 93c. Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International was down 1.9 per cent to $1.05.

Of the ten stocks that rose, breathing masks and respirators maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare led gainers with a 3.9 per cent rise to $2.39. Rakon rose 3.85 per cent to 54c.

Rural services company PGG Wrightson rose 3.1 per cent to 33c. Retirement villages operator and developer Ryman Healthcare was up 2.5 per cent to $3.25. Contact Energy rose 1.45 per cent to $4.90.

Trade Me rose 0.75 per cent to $4.05. Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu Holdings was up 0.6 per cent to $1.62. Auckland International Airport was up 0.6 per cent to $2.60.