Shares dropped, led lower by Chorus and Vector on regulation news, while A2 Milk Co and Trilogy gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 17.19 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7104.44. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 18 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $133 million.

"Given pretty positive leads offshore it's a little bit disappointing - the market was almost flat. Maybe investors are just sitting back, waiting to see what happens when reporting season really gets into the swing of things," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Chorus led the drop, down 3.6 per cent to $4.215. Communications Minister Simon Bridges today unveiled plans to deregulate the company's copper network where it competes with fibre from 2020. Chorus general counsel Vanessa Oakley said the changes created "some additional complexity for regulatory implementation, such as cost allocation" and raised "questions around incentives to invest in the high-cost rural areas currently served by copper".

Advertisement

Kiwi Property Group declined 1.7 per cent to $1.42, Auckland International Airport fell 1.7 per cent to $6.89 and Mercury New Zealand dropped 1.6 per cent to $3.02.

Vector fell 1.2 per cent to $3.25. The Commerce Commission is proposing to cap regulated sales for gas pipeline firms, including Vector, which it estimates will lower their maximum revenue by 18 per cent a year. The commission regulates what gas distribution and transmission firms can charge, and will make a final decision by May 31. The changes would lower Vector's revenue cap by 23 per cent or $43m over five years.

Air New Zealand dipped 0.2 per cent to $2.095. The Government is still negotiating with the national carrier in a cross-agency air travel contract that will add a number of new airlines to the list of approved flyers. Jetstar has already been added.

Sky Network Television was the best performer, up 2.8 per cent to $4.45. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group gained 2.6 per cent to $31.39 and A2 Milk Co rose 2 per cent to $2.54.

"It's getting very close to a record. It's managed to skirt a few pitfalls, unlike other associated companies ... Investors are obviously still buying into that growth story - it's certainly not for the faint of heart because it's been up and down a few times," Smalley said.

Outside the index, Trilogy rose 4.4 per cent to $2.62. The skincare and fragrance company said it continued to comply with continuous disclosure rules in response to a query from NZX after its shares fell 22 per cent in a month to Thursday.