January 25, 2018 / 11:02 PM / a year ago

New Zealand shares fall in lacklustre trading; Australia closed

    By Aditya Soni
    Jan 26 (Reuters) - New Zealand shares saw broad-based losses
on Friday, with healthcare stocks leading the fall, in a thin
trading environment with Australian stock markets closed for a
    Six out of seven major sectors traded in the red, with the
benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         falling 0.3 percent or 26.5
points to 8343.28 by 2251 GMT, having risen 0.6 percent on
Thursday. The benchmark was on track to gain 0.6 percent for the
    About 1.6 million shares had changed hands, compared with
the 30-day average of 25.2 million shares.  
    "I think Australia being closed is one of the factors behind
the drop-off in volume in our market, as obviously there is a
relatively high proportion of Australian situations involved and
they wouldn't be able to spell in today, presumably" said James
Smalley, senior investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
    "We've also got reporting season coming up, investors are
just sitting on the sidelines waiting for news companies or
waiting to see how these reports start rolling out and what
could happen." 
    Healthcare stocks accounted for most of the losses, with
Ryman Healthcare Ltd          declining 1.8 percent, while
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd          slipped 0.8
    Consumer staples followed closely, led by dairy firm a2 Milk
Company Ltd          which fell 1.1 percent and was among the
biggest drags on the benchmark. 
    Industrials stocks also accumulated losses. Auckland
International Airport Ltd          fell over half a percent, its
biggest intraday percentage loss since Jan. 15. 

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra
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