Ongoing jitters about US politics pushed New Zealand stocks lower today as investors took risk off the table, with Xero, Fletcher Building and A2 Milk leading the decline on the local bourse.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 50.74 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7371.76. Within the index, 37 stocks fell, 10 rose and three were unchanged.

Turnover was $154 million.

"The correction we have been waiting for has arrived overnight, with the catalyst being concern over Donald Trump's presidency in the US," said Greg Smith, the head of research at Fat Prophets in Auckland.

Advertisement

The Dow and S&P 500 both sank about 1.8 per cent following allegations that Trump tried to influence a federal probe, according to Reuters.

"I think the market has been looking for a reason to sell-off and now has that excuse," Smith said.

Dual-listed Westpac fell 4.1 per cent to $33.36 as it traded ex-dividend while ANZ Group lost 1.3 per cent to $31.10 as Australian banking stocks continue to suffer after a tax on liabilities was proposed in the budget.

Xero fell 2.7 per cent to $23.20 as investors opted to sell "on a down market day with risk coming off the table", Smith said.

Fletcher declined 2.4 per cent to $7.99, while A2 Milk lost 1.4 per cent to $3.51.

Overall, the New Zealand story remains positive, Smith said, pointing to upbeat consumer confidence data earlier in the session.

In the other direction, Goodman Property Trust and Infratil both gained after their earnings reports.

Goodman Property added 1.2 per cent to $1.255.

Infratil added 0.3 per cent to $3.00 after that company beat annual earnings guidance.

New Zealand Refining led gainers on the market, rising 1.2 per cent to $2.47.

Ryman Healthcare, due to report tomorrow, shed 1.4 per cent to $8.63.