New Zealand shares edged lower in light trading, led lower by Summerset Group after quarterly sales figures kept investors wary about the outlook for retirement stocks.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index decreased by 9.49 points, or 0.1 percent, to 10,605.98. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 20 rose and six were unchanged.

Turnover was $79.2 million, with four companies trading on volumes of more than a million shares. Summerset led the market lower, down 3.3 percent at $5.55 on a volume of 238,000 shares, after reporting a 9.6 percent decline in second-quarter sales.

The retirement village operator tried to allay investor fears, saying the property market was showing signs of stabilising. However, the downbeat figures weighed on rival Metlifecare, which fell 2 per cent to $4.45 with 164,000 shares changing hands.


"The pressure is on the retirement village sector on continuing concerns around property," said Grant Davies, an investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

"Resales and new sales are not quite living up to expectations."

Some exporters were also among those under pressure, with Gentrack down 3.1 per cent at $6.20, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare falling 1.7 percent to $16, and Skellerup also dropping 1.7 per cent to $2.36.

Spark was the most traded stock on the benchmark index on a volume of 1.2 million shares, well down on its 90-day average around five million. It decreased by 0.4 per cent to $3.97.

Genesis Energy increased by 0.3 per cent to $3.51 on a volume of 1.1 million shares, and Kiwi Property Group was unchanged at $1.615 with 1.1 million shares changing hands.

Precinct Properties New Zealand rose 1.1 per cent to $1.79 on a volume of one million shares after saying the value of its portfolio rose 6.2 per cent to about $2.8 billion.

A2 Milk Co posted the day's biggest gain, up 2.2 per cent at $15.33 on a volume of 483,000 shares.

Fonterra Shareholders' Fund continued its recovery, up 1.9 per cent at $3.75. Vista Group International rose 1.2 percent to $5.95 after appointing Matthew Cawte as its new chief financial officer, starting on August 7.


New Zealand Refining rose 1.4 per cent to $2.11 after saying it was considering installing a 26-megawatt solar electricity generation array alongside the Marsden Point refinery.

The New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency's 2022 bond paying annual interest of 2.75 per cent was the most traded debt security on a volume of 719,000.

The notes closed at a yield of 1.52 percent, down 24 basis points.