NZ stocks down, trading quiet

The New Zealand sharemarket fell today in a day of quiet trading with little in the way of news to set direction.

The NZX50 index was down 0.1 per cent or 4.83 points to 3883.30 earlier. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 12 rose and eight were unchanged.

Craigs Investment Partners advisor Greg Easton said trading had been fairly quiet.

"The main driver so far was really a bit of uncertainty out of the US and I suppose rising concerns about Spain etc but no real bad news as such. The markets are just taking a breather," Easton said.

New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 1.8 per cent on the news it was aligning with Texas-based Anadarko in deepwater exploration of the Taranaki basin. It reached 87c.

"There has been quite a bit of selling in Steel & Tube down another 4c following the Arrium exit - potentially some people are looking for short term gains," Easton said. The stock closed down 1.8 per cent to $2.18.

Freightways fell 3.6 per cent to $4.24 and rural services company PGG Wrightson slipped 2.7 per cent to 36c. Rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup was down 1.8 per cent to $1.66.

Insurer Tower fell 1.7 per cent to $1.75. Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glassons was down 1.6 per cent to $4.82. Diligent Board Member Services fell 1.5 per cent to $3.83.

Would-be bank Heartland was down 1.4 per cent to 69c. Mainfreight fell 1.4 per cent to 69c. Precinct Properties, previously AMP NZ Office, was down 1 per cent to 98c. Nuplex, the industrial chemicals and resins maker, was down 0.95 per cent to $3.12.

OceanaGold led the gainers with a 4.2 per cent rise to $4.20. Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International was up 1.7 per cent to $1.20. Carpet maker Cavalier rose 1.6 per cent to $1.93.

Westpac was up 1.5 per cent to $32.59. Fletcher Building rose 1.1 per cent to $7.24. Telstra Corp was up 1 per cent to $4.91. Chorus rose 0.6 per cent to $3.34.

Trade Me Group was up 0.5 per cent to $4.09. Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch rose 0.8 per cent to $1.22.