New Zealand shares fell as the strengthening kiwi dollar weighed on firms exposed to overseas earnings. Gentrack led the market lower.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 51.14 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 11,171.80. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 18 fell, and three were unchanged. Turnover was $238.5 million.
The rising kiwi dollar, which climbed to near 65 US cents today, cut short a week-long rally on the benchmark index as firms which earn foreign currencies fell away. Despite today's fall the NZX 50 rose 2.6 per cent across the week.
General manager at CMC Markets NZ, Chris Smith said the strengthening kiwi had been the big story as it continued to recover against the weakening US dollar.
"We are seeing stocks that are exposed to the US dollar and offshore earnings weaker and local names do better," he said.
Gentrack led the market lower, dropping 4.9 per cent to $1.76, trimming a 24 per cent gain over the previous three sessions to 17 per cent. Gentrack has key markets in the United Kingdom and Singapore.
US faith sector donations firm Pushpay Holdings slipped 2.9 per cent to $7.06.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 2.5 per cent to $28.08 and A2 Milk Co declined 1.8 per cent to $19. These two exporters make up 30 per cent of the index and are exposed to a weaker currency.
Global cinema software provider Vista Group International was also weaker, slipping 0.5 per cent to $1.85.
While the index dipped lower, more stocks rose than fell as the bargain hunting fuelled by the promise of economic recovery seen earlier in the week continued.
Kathmandu Holdings posted the largest gain, up 10.9 per cent at $1.22 as investors continued to position for a faster than expected move to alert level 1.
Smith said life was returning to consumer companies as the economy seemed to be bouncing back.
"We are seeing some signs of hope on the horizon that the recovery will be faster than expected," he said.
Fuel retailer Z Energy , who has been struggling with weak demand, rose 1 per cent to $3.06.
Air New Zealand rose 8.6 per cent to $1.64, with 9 million shares traded, after the carrier said further layoffs could be on the cards as it attempts to cut another $150m from its operating expenses.
Smith said a strong performance overnight from US airline stocks may have spilled over into our market and investors would have been encouraged to see a solid plan from the company.
Auckland International Airport dropped 2 per cent to $6.96.
Utility stocks had a strong day. Genesis Energy rose 1.7 per cent to $3, Mercury NZ increased 1.4 per cent to $4.77, Meridian Energy advanced 0.8 per cent to $4.92 and Contact Energy gained 0.3 per cent at $6.36.
Tourism Holdings rounded out a landmark rally with a small gain, up 0.4 per cent to $2.35. The stock has risen more than 30 per cent this week.
SkyCity Entertainment Group fell 2.4 per cent to $2.88, trimming its gain this week to 16 per cent.
Smith said investors would be looking at the jobs data coming out of the United States tonight to set the tone for next week's trading.
"All eyes are on the jobs report tonight," he said. "Expectations are for 8 million job losses, which is less than the 20 million in the April report. May could mark the low with recovery in June."