New Zealand shares fell as global uncertainty over China's financial markets and Greece's debt crisis spooked investors. Kathmandu Holdings, Warehouse Group and Restaurant Brands declined in a broad-based selloff.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 30.26 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 5737.44, recovering from a 1.4 per cent intraday drop. Within the index, 35 stocks fell, nine rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $206 million.
The benchmark index climbed out of its morning slump after Asian markets opened better than expected. International markets have been spooked by a sharp correction on China's stock exchange, with the Shanghai SE Composite Index slumping a third over the past month, triggering selloffs across the region as traders fret over signs of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. The turnaround in Chinese equity markets ended a more than 150 per cent surge in the past 12 months.
"This morning volumes were very light and it actually felt as though there was a little panic selling from retail investors in the market - it was get-me-out-type selling as opposed to anything else," Matthew Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management said. "All markets rebounded early-mid afternoon when Asian markets opened a little better. The Shanghai market is still up 70 to 80 per cent over the past 12 months."
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Kathmandu led the benchmark index lower, down 4.3 per cent to $1.56. Warehouse fell 2.6 per cent to $2.65. Restaurant Brands declined 2.6 per cent to $4.15. SkyCity Entertainment Group dropped 1.9 per cent to $4.20. Briscoe, which is outside the benchmark, fell 0.4 per cent to $2.74. Fletcher Building rose 0.8 per cent to $7.94, recovering from an intraday drop to a two-and-a-half-year low of $7.72. Spark fell 0.2 per cent to $2.785.
Nuplex Industries dropped 1.5 per cent to $4.06. Orion Health declined 1.7 per cent to $3.98.
Pacific Edge was the best performer on the benchmark index, up 3.1 per cent to 66c. Outside the benchmark index, Mercer Group was unchanged at 10c after saying annual earnings fell.