NZ shares dip led by Orion Health Group

By Sophie Boot

The NZX ticker on the building downtown. Photo / File
The NZX ticker on the building downtown. Photo / File

New Zealand shares dipped with Orion Health Group extending its losses from Monday, while Spark New Zealand and A2 Milk Co gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 4.8 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,896.95. Within the index, 28 stocks fell, 18 rose and five were unchanged. Turnover was $267.2 million.

"The market is obviously continuing to recover from having been a bit weak in the past few weeks, flat on the day which is not too bad - we've seen markets globally be a bit choppy overnight," said Shane Solly, director, portfolio manager & research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "We've had a lot of volatility and we're trying to settle down a bit, but we are on the run-in to the end of the year and traditionally that sees markets a bit firmer."

Orion Health Group led the index lower again, dropping 5.8 percent to $1.80. On Monday, the health software developer plunged 19 percent following its first-half results, where it narrowed its first-half loss to $18 million and said it would make a profit in 2018, while sales rose to $104.2m from $101.7m.

It's now declined 28 percent since those results.

Fletcher Building dropped 4.8 percent to $10.28, Tower declined 2.8 percent to 69.5 cents, and Goodman Property Trust fell 2 percent to $1.22.

Spark New Zealand was the best performer, up 3.6 percent to $3.635. It was also the most heavily traded stock on the index, with $52 million in turnover.

"The telecommunication sector is coming in for some buying, after being under pressure when bond yields increased," Solly said.

A2 Milk gained 2.5 percent to $2.46. The shares have risen 13 percent since last Tuesday when the company updated shareholders at its annual meeting in Sydney, with the chief executive saying the board wanted to be clear about its performance.

In the four months to October, revenue was at $155.2m, compared to $79.3m in the same period of the 2016 financial year, which A2 said reflected continued growth in infant formula and milk products in its presentation posted to the NZX.

Outside the main index, Cavalier Corp shares were unchanged on the outcome of an appeal against a High Court ruling which gave the green light to the merger of its wool scouring operations.

- BusinessDesk

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