The New Zealand sharemarket continued its New Year slide as uncertainty and fear over future interest rate rises overhangs trading, both here and overseas.
Pushpay Holdings, however, had a stand-out day.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index had a stronger morning but it couldn't maintain the pace and closed down 27.24 points or 0.21 per cent at 12,804.48 after reaching an intraday high of 12,857.6.
It was the index's fifth successive fall this year. There were 80 gainers and 60 decliners across the whole market, with 26.93 million shares worth $98.82m changing hands.
Jeremy Sullivan, investment advisor with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the market weakness resulted from the expectation of rising interest rates.
"The year hasn't got off to a good start and it's hard to argue against what interest rates do to a (dividend) yield market like ours. Things will settle down when the rises are priced into the market," he said.
Economists are predicting the official cash rate (OCR), now at 0.75 per cent, will reach 2-2.5 per cent by August to combat inflation and cool the housing market.
Sullivan said there could be a 50-basis-point rise in the OCR at the end of February when the Reserve Bank provides its latest monetary policy statement.
There could be four or five OCR increases this year.
The United States economy is likely to face a similar situation – the pace of future rate rises has unsettled Wall Street.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee that "it really is time for us to move away from those emergency policy settings to a more normal level."
Commentators expect the US central bank to move more aggressively than previously expected after inflation proved hotter and more persistent than policy makers had predicted. The latest US inflation figure was released overnight.
The leading US indices did manage a recovery as Powell spoke to the Senate committee. The Nasdaq Composite, hit hard by the sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, bounced back with a 1.41 per cent rise to 15,153.45 points.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.51 per cent to 36,252.02, and S&P 500 increased 0.92 per cent to 4713.07 points.
Across the Tasman, the S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.67 per cent to 7439.7 at 5.45pm NZ time, with the materials sector having a strong day on the back of increased commodity prices.
At home, software firm Pushpay Holdings – concentrating its donor church management system on the Catholic faith in the US – was one of the day's best performers, rising 5c or 4.1 per cent to $1.27 after falling from $1.89 in early November.
But again there were few major movements on the light trading. The Colonial Motor Company gained 34c or 3.19 per cent to $11 on 20 trades worth $16,750.
Meridian Energy was up 4.5c to $4.66, Synlait Milk increased 8c or 2.31 per cent to $3.54; Vista Group collected 5c or 2.29 per cent to $2.23; DGL Group gained 7c or 2.3 per cent to $3.12; Third Age Health Services rose 10c or 3.57 per cent to $2.90; and Wellington Drive Technologies picked up 1c or 4.44 per cent to 23.5c.
The Warehouse Group, providing an earnings and profit downgrade at the end of last week, increased 8c or 2.22 per cent to $3.68.
Retirement village operators Ryman Healthcare was up 8c to $12.10, but Summerset Group Holdings declined 9c to $13.46, Arvida was down 4c or 2.05 per cent to $1.91; and Oceania Healthcare slipped 2c to $1.28.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 11c to $31.84; EBOS Group declined 35c to $40.09; Trustpower shed 8c to $7.25; Skellerup Holdings fell 20c or 3.13 per cent to $6.19; and Tourism Holdings decreased 12c or 4.03 per cent to $2.86.
Online travel provider Serko fell 31c or 4.99 per cent to $5.90, and has now fallen from $7.85 in late November.
Amongst other decliners, Restaurant Brands was down 11c to $14.49; Pacific Edge fell 4c to or 3.01 per cent $1.29; Move Logistics declined 4c or 2.35 per cent to $1.66; and Radius Residential Care slipped 2.5c or 5.38 per cent to 44c.