NZ shares fall amid Fletcher Building speculation

New Zealand stocks fell as Fletcher Building dropped near a year-low with speculation the firm is vulnerable to a corporate raid and as global equity markets were subdued with the protracted stand-off between the US and North Korea and weaker-than-expected US company earnings.

The S&P/NZX 50 index declined 15 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,218.52. Within the index, 29 stocks fell, 13 rose and 8 were unchanged. Turnover was $138 million (£107.64 million).

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.5 per cent in afternoon trading while China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index fell 0.8 per cent after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 per cent on Wall Street. Geopolitical uncertainty coupled with a disappointing earnings report from Goldman Sachs Group and Johnson & Johnson weighed on sentiment.

“It’s a bit of a down day today, following Wall Street and some of the Asian markets. Some of our leading stocks have been hit relatively hard,” said Hamilton Hindin Greene Broker Grant Williamson.

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