New Zealand shares fell, led by New Zealand Oil & Gas after it pulled the pin on its latest exploratory well, and as investors prepare for the pointy end of a raft of new listings and the upcoming earnings season.
The NZX 50 Index fell 20.285 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5166.075. Within the index, 28 stocks fell, 12 gained, and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $136.6 million.
Investors have been busy with the pipeline of initial public offers, with Metro Performance Glass filing its prospectus yesterday, and are fairly cautious ahead of next month's earnings season, which will be a barometer on whether stocks are fairly priced, according to Rickey Ward, New Zealand equity manager at JBWere.
"We've got everyone feeling a little uncomfortable with trading at a premium to historic multiples," Ward said. "Everyone wants reporting season to justify the current multiples."
Leading the benchmark index lower, NZOG fell 2.5 percent to 79 cents after the oil and gas explorer said operations on the Oi-2 well off the Taranaki coast was abandoned. The Wellington-based company had a 19 percent stake in the Oi well. Dual-listed Pan Pacific Petroleum, a partner in Oi, slumped 26 percent to 5.9 cents on the NZX.
"I can't recall the last time they had really good success outside of Kupe," Ward said. "You almost wonder whether they should stop exploring and pay distributions."
Pacing the decline, national carrier Air New Zealand fell 2.1 percent to $2.135, and accounting software developer Xero dropped 1.9 percent to $26.01.
Retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings fell 1.8 percent to $3.31 after reporting slowing second-quarter unit sales earlier this week. Rivals Metlifecare dropped 1.6 percent to $4.45 and Ryman Healthcare slipped 0.6 percent to $8.62.
Steel & Tube Holdings, the building products manufacturer, led gainers, up 2.3 percent to $3.07, while specialty chemicals maker Nuplex Industries gained 1.7 percent to $3.05.
Property For Industry was unchanged at $1.335 after the Auckland-based industrial property investor said it will spend $15.3 million on a Wellington property with a 10-year lease at a yield of 7.6 percent. Argosy Property was unchanged at 99 cents as was DNZ Property Fund at $1.635, Goodman Property Trust at $1.085 and Kiwi Income Property Trust at $1.175. Precinct Properties New Zealand declined 0.5 percent to $1.075.
Outside the benchmark index, Michael Hill International climbed 5.7 percent to $1.30 after the Brisbane-based jeweller said sales increased sales 9.7 percent last year, the fastest pace in three years, to A$482.8 million in the 12 months ended June 30.
Same-store sales rose 5 percent to A$433.9 million.
Would-be coal miner Bathurst Resources dropped 1.9 percent to 5.1 cents after it struggled to attract much interest in a rights issue at 6.5 cents per share. Of the 41.08 million shares available, just 2.15 million were subscribed to.
Energy Mad was unchanged at 25 cents. The energy efficient lightbulb maker has missed out on gross tax losses of $7.7 million after a long-standing offshore shareholder sold their stake, causing the stock to fall below the 49 percent minimum continuity shareholding threshold required to claim the tax loss.