The New Zealand market closed just barely in the red today despite some strong company results, particularly a surprisingly solid forecast from Pumpkin Patch.
The children's clothing retailer's forecast profit for the year was $10.1 million, up from the expected $9.7m. Its shares surged 13.2 per cent to $1.03 in response.
The NZX50 index was down 0.4 per cent or 14.98 points to 3616.19. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 19 rose and 11 were unchanged.
Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said that there were no strong leads from overseas markets to give the New Zealand bourse direction.
"Pumpkin Patch surprised, its strong performance put the stock back into profitability after taking out one-offs and reducing bank debt. Its inventory was lower," Williamson said.
Trading was on strong volumes in the stock at more than 700,000. A typical day's trading in Pumpkin Patch is around 100,000 shares.
"We [also] saw strong buying in SkyCity. Following its result yesterday analysts took a long look at it and liked what they saw," he said.
The casino and hotels operator was up 2.8 per cent to $3.68 after announcing its profit was up 8 per cent to $141.4m.
"We did see a reasonable correction in Telecom today, which certainly weighed on the index. It has been improving nicely in recent times and hit a four year high yesterday," Williamson said.
"We certainly saw profit taking coming back into the market yesterday but there was a lack of buying in it this afternoon."
Telecom fell 2.8 per cent to $2.76.
Australian food ingredient maker Goodman Fielder led the declining stocks with a 4.1 per cent fall to 70c. Rural service company PGG Wrightson was down 3.2 per cent to 30c.
Xero fell 2.1 per cent to $5.10. Property for Industry was down 1.7 per cent to $1.15 while Kiwi Income Property Trust slipped 1.4 per cent to $1.09. Goodman Property Trust was down 1 per cent to $1.01.
New Zealand Refining was down 1.7 per cent to $2.36. Auckland electricity and gas supplier Vector fell 1.1 per cent to $2.73.
Australian wealth manager AMP was up 5.6 per cent to $5.65 after announcing the dual listed stock's profit was up 7 per cent to A$491m.
Industrial chemicals and resins manufacturer Nuplex was up 3.1 per cent to $1.70.
Carpet maker Cavalier rose 3 per cent to $1.70 after launching a new carpet backing made from recycled wool carpet which it claims is a world first.
Restaurant brands, the operator of fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut, rose 1.4 per cent to $2.22.