10 Sep 2014

Shares drop after dividend cut-offs

5:45 pm on 10 September 2014

New Zealand shares were weaker today, with the benchmark Top 50 Index shedding seven points to 5237, while the dollar is slightly weaker than yesterday.

Dollar coins and bank notes on newspaper with New Zealand stock market news

Dollar coins and bank notes on newspaper with New Zealand stock market news Photo: PHOTO NZ

JB Were equities manager Rickey Ward said much of the weakness reflected major stocks passing the cut-off points for their dividends.

"You've got three of note that are 'ex-div' today - Air New Zealand, New Zealand Oil and Gas and Trade Me. Their share prices appear to be weaker on a little bit of a lighter volume but you've got to take into context that they're ex-dividend today."

Air New Zealand shares eased five cents to $2.06 and Trade Me fell 11 cents to $3.57.

Shares in Sky TV rebounded nine cents to $6.25 while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares rose seven cents to $5.19.

Investors 'still reluctant' to sell dollar

The New Zealand dollar is only slightly weaker from this time yesterday against the US dollar, having bounced back from a seven-month low, but it climbed two-thirds of a cent against the Australian dollar.

ANZ senior foreign exchange strategist Sam Tuck said the moves were prompted by suggestions that US interest rates may rise sooner than expected.

However, he said investors were still reluctant to sell the New Zealand dollar, not least because interest rates here are so high.

"Last night, the New Zealand dollar was a bit of a reluctant follower to the Australian dollar lower with the NZ dollar to Aussie dollar cross increasing slightly."

A short time ago, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 82.35 US cents, 89.83 Australian cents, 51.11 British pence, 0.6371 euro, 87.67 yen and 5.05 renminbi.

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