New Zealand shares edged down in relatively light trading, led by Xero.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 7.48 points, or 0.098 per cent, to 7622.13.

Within the benchmark index, 25 stocks fell, 15 rose and 10 were unchanged.

Turnover was $109.1 million.


Xero led the index lower, down 2.3 per cent to $25.30, ahead of next week's annual meeting and at the opening of a new financial quarter. The stock has gained 48 per cent this year on positive earnings results.

"They've had an exceptional performance this year. Some of it was a good result, as good as expected, but also a very favourable backdrop from the Nasdaq and the FANG stocks [tech stocks Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google]," said Salt Funds Management's managing director Matt Goodson. "Those have been weak in the last several weeks so Xero's coming off its highs a little bit on that."

Chorus dropped 1.5 per cent to $4.56, and Scales Corp declined 1.5 per cent to $3.35.

Outside the benchmark index, Steel & Tube dropped 6.5 per cent to $2.46.

The company issued a profit warning after a challenging second half and increased competition in the market. It had previously said full-year earnings before interest and tax (ebit) in 2017 would be consistent with 2016, but that's now expected to fall short of last year's $36.7m (which includes the gain from sale of property) by between 10 and 15 per cent.

Fletcher gained 0.1 per cent to $8 today, and Metro Performance Glass was unchanged at $1.38. Methven rose 1.8 per cent to $1.13.

A2 Milk fell 1 per cent to $3.88.

Summerset Group was down 0.6 per cent to $4.69.


The retirement village operator and developer posted an 18 per cent drop in second-quarter sales from a record year-earlier period, although it says its building programme is set to deliver more units later in the year.

Year-to-date sales are tracking ahead of 2016 at 323 compared with 306, with new sales largely flat at 179 and resales up 17 per cent to 144.

Vector fell 1.2 per cent to $3.34. The Auckland-based electricity, gas and telecommunications lines company has cut a deal with the Commerce Commission to return $13.9m to Auckland electricity customers after a change to the way it set two tariffs in 2013 saw it breach its regulated revenue cap in the following two years.

Sanford was the best performer on the top 50, up 2.9 per cent to $7.20. Arvida Group gained 2.4 per cent to $1.30 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2 per cent to $11.15.

ERoad gained 10.3 per cent to $2.15.

The company's shares have soared 31 per cent since Wednesday, hitting a four-month high, as buying continued after the company posted positive quarterly sales earlier this week.