New Zealand shares fell with turnover low as investors went into a holding pattern following the UK general election, with Comvita, Xero and Auckland International Airport declining.

The S&P/NZX50 index dropped 0.3 per cent to 7436.1.

Within the index, 28 stocks fell, 12 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $101.4 million.

The UK vote has delivered a hung Parliament with Theresa May's Conservatives losing significant ground to Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, with no party able to reach the required votes for a majority.


"The key question for markets is what does this mean for Brexit, and it's really very difficult to answer that at this time because there's no one party where Brexit would appear to have a mandate from this election," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

"The currency tells the story - the pound/USD has weakened from $1.2960-odd to about $1.2750. And then you look to companies with exposure to the UK - in New Zealand we've got Xero."

Xero dropped 3.4 per cent to $24.88. The stock has gained 47 per cent this year, rising when the company announced its millionth subscriber in March and climbing further from mid-May when the cloud-based accounting software firm announced it was moving closer to its first profit as customer numbers continue to swell.

"There's no real evidence it's making great traction in the US but it's clearly doing very well in Australia, New Zealand and the UK," Goodson said.

"A fair bit of the required valuation to get to these levels does come from success in the US. The bigger context is, the Nasdaq is up 15 per cent this calendar year. There are obvious forces propelling the price and Xero is executing well at present."

Comvita was the worst performer, down 8.9 per cent to $5.20.

"There's more talk around the potential implication of myrtle rust and what it could mean for manuka and other native trees," Goodson said.

"It's had a bit of a perfect storm - some difficulties with its sales channels into China, a difficult year for honey climatically and now myrtle rust. It's a triple whammy for a story which was looking exceptionally promising just a very short time ago."


New Zealand Refining dropped 2.8 per cent to $2.43 and Trustpower fell 2.1 per cent to $5.10.

Auckland International Airport declined 1.4 per cent to $7.10.

Fletcher Building was the best performer, up 1.5 per cent to $7.66, Z Energy rose 1.3 per cent to $7.69 and A2 Milk Co gained 1.2 per cent to $3.39.