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Current as of 27/04/17 09:40AM NZST

ANZ and A2 slip as shares follow global trend downwards

By Edwin Mitson

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 16.62 points to 7046.97.
The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 16.62 points to 7046.97.

New Zealand shares fell, led lower by global markets, with ANZ Banking Group and A2 Milk Co down while Vital Healthcare Property Trust gained.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 16.62 points to 7046.97. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 17 rose and 12 were unchanged.

Turnover was $101.1 million.

"It's looking like a weaker close today, though not as bad as some of the Asian markets, the overnight leads were weaker as well," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"We're very much following that trend, down a wee bit. We've had a reasonable time of it so far this year, volumes are still relatively light but we'll pick up next week as a number of institutions come back on board."

ANZ Bank was the worst performer, down 2.3 per cent to $32.15, and Westpac Banking Corp fell 2.2 per cent to $34.50.

A2 Milk Co declined 1.8 per cent to $2.22. The shares gained 7 per cent on Wednesday after A2's ASX-listed rival Bellamy's issued a profit warning, but have dropped back since.

Williamson said the market was starting to come under a bit of profit taking pressure today afternoon, particularly for stocks which rallied earlier in the week such as Meridian Energy, which fell 1.5 per cent to $2.67 and Fletcher Building, which dropped 1 per cent to $10.30.

While local news is thin on the ground, stockmarket trading volumes have been lower with many New Zealanders still on holiday. However, the inauguration of US president-elect Donald Trump next week could stir things up, Williamson said.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust was the best performer on the index, up 1.5 per cent to $2.09, while Sky Network Television rose 1.3 per cent to $4.56 and Mercury Energy gained 1.3 per cent to $3.06.

Outside the benchmark index, Hellaby Holdings rose 0.6 per cent to $3.57. Bapcor's takeover offer for Hellaby has now been declared unconditional, with shareholders who have accepted the offer to receive $3.60 per share within the next seven days. Representatives of the two companies met on Thursday to discuss the takeover.

Veritas Investments was unchanged at 20c. The company said it was still working through the process ahead of a deadline to present a plan for its unprofitable Nosh supermarket business to ANZ Bank New Zealand.

- BusinessDesk

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