Investors are being urged not to panic on the back of the New Zealand share market's biggest decline in more than six months.

The S&P/NZX 50 has fallen nearly 2.6 per cent today after a slide on Wall St overnight led by technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 3.2 per cent.

Australia's S&P/200 index was down 1.8 per cent. Of the top 50 New Zealand local stocks, 47 were in the red, while just three were unchanged.


New Zealand's benchmark index is heading for its ninth straight decline, due largely to the US Federal Reserve's track for higher interest rates pushing yields on US government bonds higher.

The yield on US 10-year Treasuries has been at a seven-year high and closed at 3.17 per cent.

In contrast, New Zealand's 10-year government bond recently traded at a yield of 2.67 per cent.

Growth stocks were the among hardest hit today.

A2 Milk Co dropped 6.7 per cent to $9.53, Pushpay Holdings sank 6.2 per cent to $3.50 and Synlait Milk fell 5.4 per cent to $9.15.

All three have been among the best performers in the past two years, up 23 per cent, 18 per cent and 30 per cent respectively over the past 12 months.

Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere, said there's been a re-rating of growth stocks that's underpinned the pull-back. While it's easy to paint a negative picture, Ward said the local market is still up for the year - at around 5 per cent.

"A short-term trader has to be prepared to be whiplashed every now and then. But a long-term investor shouldn't be too concerned at the current time," he said.

Leighton Roberts, chief operating officer and co-founder of Sharesies, urged investors not to panic.


"Most New Zealanders will be seeing this in their KiwiSaver accounts but it's a matter of realising that is long-term money.

"For us we are just reiterating don't panic. If you are confident that you are diversified and in for the long-term it is a time for buying rather than selling.

"Stay the course you still own the same companies you owned yesterday."

Roberts predicted volatility in the markets would continue but said that was more a return to normal levels after a low level of volatility.

"We have seen unprecedented levels of low volatility."

Roberts described the fall as a slight correction and said he hoped markets would recover similar to what had happened in February and March this year after a dip in the markets also sparked by rising bond yields.