Telecom drags NZX down

The New Zealand sharemarket slipped today, bucking the local trend as heavyweight Telecom suffered significant losses that dragged the market down. However across the Tasman, Australian stocks rose 0.2 per cent.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index was up 1.2 per cent, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.7 per cent making the NZX the odd one out in Asia Pacific equities markets.

The NZX50 index was down 1.02 per cent, or 35.59 points, at 3444.79. Within the index, 33 stocks fell, six rose and 11 were unchanged.

Mint Asset Management portfolio manager Shane Solly said trading was relatively quiet on the New Zealand market today.

"Most markets offshore were stronger on the day but certainly Telecom led the charge in terms of being weaker, it was obviously the main contributor to the market being softer here in New Zealand," Solly said.

Telecom fell 2.2 per cent to $2.48. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, the maker of breathing mask and respirators, was down 6.2 per cent to $1.97 after going ex-dividend.

"Post the G20 announcement [that Europe would further integrate its banking sectors], people were a bit wary about what happens next. There is clearly a lot of potential for policy initiatives to be put in place to deal with further euro debt issues, but investors are being quite conservative." 

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu Holdings was down 3.9 per cent to $1.48. Would-be bank Heartland fell 3.85 per cent to 50c. Rural services company PGG Wrightson was down 3.2 per cent to 30c.

Insurer Tower fell 2.5 per cent to $1.56. Retailer Hallenstein Glassons was down 2.2 per cent to $4.00. Investment holdings company Guinness Peat Group fell 2.1 per cent to 47c. Jewellery retailer Michael Hill was down 1.9 per cent to $1.03.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances, the whiteware manufacturer and exporter, fell 1.9 per cent to 52c. Casino and hotel operator SkyCity Entertainment was down 1.7 per cent to $3.45.

Xero fell 1.6 per cent to $4.81. Fletcher Building was down 1.6 per cent to $6.21. International trucking and logistics company Mainfreight was down 1.5 per cent to $9.40. Chorus fell 1.3 per cent to 76c.

The leading gainer was Westpac bank, up 1.7 per cent to $27.20. Industrial chemicals and resins maker Nuplex rose 1.5 per cent to $2.63. Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector was up 0.8 per cent to $2.65.

"A number of property stocks were firmer on the day, consistent with the outlook for property trusts being quite stable," Solly said. DNZ Property Fund rose 1 per cent to $1.46. Goodman Property Trust was up 0.5 per cent to $1.00.