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Current as of 24/02/17 12:39PM NZST

Shares fall in light day's trade

The NZX index fell today, on light trading. / File photo
The NZX index fell today, on light trading. / File photo

New Zealand shares fell in light trading, with Ebos Group, Tower and A2 Milk leading the index lower.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 31.88 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7264.86. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $106.7 million.

"It's a very quiet day after what was a busy week last week - with retailers reporting, Fonterra, and the Reserve Bank's interest rate decision, things have gone from one extreme to another and it's exceptionally quiet," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Ebos was the worst performer on the index, down 2.4 per cent to $18.55, while Tower dropped 2 per cent to 98 cents.

Meridian Energy fell 2.1 per cent to $2.79. It's due to pay an 8.4c final dividend and a 2.44c special dividend on Thursday.

"It's still carrying a reasonable dividend, there's no strong rationale as to why they're significantly weaker - they're the largest gentailer in the market, maybe there's been some rotation or lightening of exposure there," McIntyre said.

A2 Milk declined 1.6 per cent to $1.85. It reached a record $2.30 a month ago but has fallen back since, having plunged after reporting its annual earnings despite meeting its guidance with a return to full-year profit and a 127 per cent jump in revenue that was driven by infant formula sales in Australia and China.

"It's below the $2 mark, which is sometimes a trigger for it to bounce back up again," McIntyre said.

Air New Zealand continued to fall, down 1.1 per cent to $1.80, and has dropped 32 per cent this year.

Vector was the best performer, up 3.4 per cent to $3.35, while Z Energy rose 1.6 per cent to $8.30.

Port of Tauranga rose 1.5 per cent to $19.80, Comvita gained 1.3 per cent to $11.50, and New Zealand Refining advanced 1.3 per cent to $2.39.

Outside the main index, Energy Mad fell 7.4 per cent to 5c.

The energy efficient lightbulb maker has warned lower prices for carbon dioxide offsetting certificates in Australia mean its sales volumes are likely to decline.

Augusta Capital dropped 1.4 per cent to $1.055 and Pyne Gould Corp was unchanged at 20.5c

- BusinessDesk

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