New Zealand shares fell, led by Cavalier, after the carpet maker said charges to restructure its carpets business may wipe out profits this year. SkyCity Entertainment Group gained as debate continues about its deal to build a conference centre in exchange for more slot machines.

The NZX 50 Index fell 8.95 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 3516.23. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 20 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $65.5 million, making it one of the lightest trading days this month.

Cavalier fell 11 per cent to $1.89. The nation's only listed carpet maker said today it may post a full-year loss as it takes steps to restructure its broadloom carpet business, ruling out any dividend payment. The shares fell 11 per cent to a two-month low.

"For every seller there is a buyer so you may see some bargain hunting in the stock - but only for the more patient investor," John Elsom, investment advisor at Craigs Investment Partners.


SkyCity rose 2.1 per cent to $3.90. The casino and hotel company is hoping to close a deal to build a national convention centre in Auckland in exchange for a law change that would allow it to operate more slot machines.

"The stock has gotten a bit of negative publicity - people are thinking they have been getting battered more than expected," Elsom said.

Heartland New Zealand, the building society, fell 5 per cent to 57 cents.

Fletcher Building declined 2.2 per cent to $6.14. The government has wrested control of rebuilding Christchurch from the city council. Fletcher has the contract to oversee the work.

PGG Wrightson, the nation's biggest rural services company, rose 5.3 per cent to 40 cents. That was the biggest gainer on the index and came on the day that the government approved the sale of the Crafar farms to Shanghai Pengxin Group.

Pumpkin Patch climbed 4.8 per cent to $1.10 and Restaurant Brands, the fast-food operator, rose 3.6 per cent to $2.

Contact Energy fell 0.4 per cent to $4.89. Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain, fell 3.7 per cent to $1.05. Telecom slipped about 1 per cent to $2.505.

Infratil fell 0.5 per cent to $1.89 after subsidiary Snapper said Wellington's usage has hit 80 per cent penetration, and it's mulling parking payment options. Snapper cards on issue have climbed by 70,000 to 370,000 since August.


APN News & Media was unchanged at $1.05 on the NZX after the company said chairman Gavin O'Reilly has stepped down from the board as part of an exit from Irish parent Independent News & Media. The ASX-listed shares fell 1.2 per cent to 85 cents.