New Zealand shares were mixed in trading yesterday as investors prepare for a raft of annual meetings where company boards will offer insights into how their firms are trading, and may downgrade their earnings forecasts as the local economic recovery slows.

The NZX 50 index fell 4.84 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3883.3.

Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 12 gained and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $82.8 million.

Investors are preparing for annual meetings next week, including Contact, Sky TV, Vector, and SkyCity.


"As we go into the AGM season, boards will be in a position to tell investors how the year has started," said Matthew Goodson, portfolio manager at BT Funds Management.

"Given the economic news lately has been mixed" some earnings outlooks may be downgraded, he said.

Freightways fell 3.6 per cent to $4.24, the biggest decline on the day.

PGG Wrightson dropped 2.7 per cent to 36c after the two top executives of its majority shareholder, Agrium, resigned to pursue other opportunities. OceanaGold was the biggest gainer on the day, up 4.2 per cent to $4.20.

NZ Oil & Gas gained 1.8 per cent to 86c, after the exploration firm bought a 6.7 per cent stake in a deepwater exploration permit off the Taranaki coast. The permit is the first granted over the deepwater extension in the Taranaki Basin and is operated by Texan energy firm Anadarko.

"It's quite a small stake, but if it's successful it could potentially be quite material, though it will be very expensive to drill," Goodson said.

Fletcher Building gained 1.1 per cent to $7.24 after Australian employment figures beat expectations with more full-time jobs added than forecast. That helped quell fears about the slowing Australian economy, and lifted demand for the stock.

Telecom fell 0.2 per cent to $2.325. Scott Technology rose 0.5 per cent to $2.25 after lifting annual profit 22 per cent to $6.1 million as revenue advanced 19 per cent on strong demand from its mining sector.


The company declared a final dividend of 5.5c a share, taking the annual payment to 8c.

Steel & Tube fell 1.8 per cent to $2.18 a day after major shareholder Arrium sold out of the New Zealand steel products producer at $2.05 a share.