New Zealand shares slid as investors remain concerned the UK may vote to leave the European Union next week, potentially prompting other countries to leave the alliance and causing market turmoil.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index shed 41.51 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 6847.06. Within the index, 30 stocks fell, 16 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $281.6 million.
The country's benchmark index is heading for a second weekly decline as investors favour safe haven assets such as bonds and gold due to fears that British voters may opt to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum.
"Markets are not sure whether to go up or down at the moment as investors try to weigh the odds of Brexit occurring," said Matthew Goodson of Salt Funds Management.
Property stocks, which are normally favoured for their yield appeal, fell as investors sold down heir holdings to fund new investment in Stride Property's spinoff and equity raise. Stride announced yesterday that it would bring forward its bookbuild with selected institutions and NZX firms for its Investore Property unit to June 21.
Property For Industry dropped 4.7 per cent to $1.52, Argosy Property dropped 2.6 per cent to $1.12, Precinct Properties slid 1.2 per cent to $1.235, and Stride slid 0.9 per cent to $2.28. Goodman Property Trust gained 0.8 per cent to $1.285.
Auckland International Airport gained 0.6 per cent to $6.50 as investors were relieved it didn't face stronger action from the Commerce Commission in the regulator's draft decision yesterday on its review of rules for regulated electricity, gas and airport services.
Trilogy International closed unchanged at $4 after resuming trading yesterday, having been halted for a share sale at $3.70 apiece, a 7.5 per cent discount. The company said its share placement and the selldown by major shareholder The Business Bakery was "significantly oversubscribed" and it didn't need support from the underwriter.
At the close of trading yesterday, Tegel Group Holdings, the poultry group taken public by Affinity Equity Partners, entered the benchmark index, replacing Coats Group, the UK-based threadmaker that grew out of diversified investor Guinness Peat Group and is quitting its local listing, ending the exchange's association with investor Ron Brierley's former empire. Tegal gained 0.6 per cent to $1.68 while Coats slid 8.4 per cent to 49c.