Weak market dragged down

The New Zealand sharemarket was weaker today, dragged down by a poorer than expected result from heavyweight Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

The NZX50 index was down 0.3 per cent or 9.95 points to 3486.23. Within the index, 26 stocks fell while 13 rose and 11 were unchanged.

"The New Zealand market is a bit softer today, the highlight was the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare result which was a little bit below expectations and sold off as a result," One Path New Zealand senior investment analyst Craig Brown said.

The maker of breathing masks and respirators reported full year earnings that were flat after one-off taxes were considered, at $52.6m. Its shares closed down 5.8 per cent at $2.29.

"There were no strong leads from offshore markets, not a lot of news flow to give the market any strong direction so it's sort of been a fairly quiet sort of a day. We're just seeing a continuation of the cautious tone."

Construction materials supplier Steel & Tube Holdings was down 3.95 per cent to $2.19.

Property stocks were weaker, with Vital Healthcare Property down 2.8 per cent to $1.20. Kiwi Income Property Trust fell 0.9 per cent to $1.06 while Goodman Property Trust was down 1 per cent to 99c.

Whiteware manufacturer and exporter Fisher & Paykel Appliances fell 2.7 per cent to 54c. Rakon, the maker of crystal timing devices used in electronics, fell 2.1 per cent to 46c.

Australian food ingredient maker Goodman Fielder was down 1.3 per cent to 76c. Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector was down 1.8 per cent to $2.68.

Guinness Peat Group fell 1 per cent to 49c. At its annual general meeting yesterday Sir Ron Brierly retained his seat on the board by a slim margin in a shareholder vote.

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International was down 1 per cent to $1.02. Nuplex, the maker of industrial chemicals and resins, fell 1.3 per cent to $2.35. Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch fell 1.15 per cent to 86c.

Would-be bank Heartland led the gaining stocks with a 4.2 per cent rise to 50c. Carpet maker Cavalier was up 3.4 per cent to $1.51. Rural services company PGG Wrightson rose 3.2 per cent to 32c.

Freightways, the express package and information management company was up 1.6 per cent to $3.90. Trade Me Group rose 1.55 per cent to $3.92.

Insurance group Tower announced it lifted its net profit by 82 per cent from the previous year in the six months to March, at $23.6m. Its shares rose 1.2 per cent to $1.64 in response.

Port of Tauranga was up 1.2 per cent to $11.13. Auckland International Airport rose 1.2 per cent to $2.58.

Contact Energy was up 1 per cent to $4.85. Infratil, the infrastructure investment company, was up 0.7 per cent to $2.07.

Australian phone company Telstra rose 0.7 per cent to $4.59. Australian wealth manager AMP was up 0.4 per cent to $5.02. Chorus rose 0.3 per cent to $3.20.