SkyCity falls on mixed day for stockmarket

By Sophie Boot

SkyCity shares dropped 11.9 per cent to close at $3.76, which is a one-year low.
SkyCity shares dropped 11.9 per cent to close at $3.76, which is a one-year low.

NZ shares were mixed, with the index dragged lower by SkyCity Entertainment Group while Orion Health Group and Kathmandu Holdings rallied.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 15.38 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6958.4. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 16 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $121.6 million.

SkyCity fell 11.9 per cent to $3.76, a one-year low.

The casino operator posted weaker first-quarter revenue because of lower gaming and high-roller activity in Auckland, difficult trading conditions in Darwin and the higher level of the Kiwi dollar against the Aussie.

Interim chief executive John Mortensen has warned there will be a drop in the immediate term in the business it gets from high-rollers following moves by the Chinese government which led to the detention of 18 employees at competitor Crown Resorts.

"It's not a good start to their financial year. There's a bit of uncertainty as to the Chinese issue which might play on bringing gamblers over," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"It's pretty disappointing for investors and obviously it being one of our larger listed companies that's put a bit of a dent in the market as well."

Z Energy declined 1.7 per cent to $8.01 and Fletcher Building dropped 1.7 per cent to $9.89.

"Fletcher's also really weighing on the index. Some of the blue chip stocks are trading higher but it's put pressure on the downside. It was a real mixed bag today, and there's still a weight of selling in this market," Williamson said.

Orion Health was the best performer on the index, up 3.8 per cent to $3.27, while A2 Milk Co rose 3 per cent to $2.09 and Kathmandu Holdings gained 2.1 per cent to $1.97.

Air New Zealand advanced 1.9 per cent to $1.84, and Summerset Group Holdings was up 1.5 per cent to $4.68.

Outside the benchmark index, Pumpkin Patch was placed in a trading halt at 6c.

The childrenswear retailer says it is unlikely there is any residual value left in its equity after discussions with its bank were unsuccessful.

It's been working with its bank over capital constraints, and expects to complete "further work and discussions with relevant stakeholders" in the next few days and will announce that to the market when an outcome is clear, it said.

- BusinessDesk

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