New Zealand shares fell, paced by Fletcher Building, while Diligent Board member Services and Wynyard Group led gains among companies favoured for their growth outlook.
The NZX 50 Index fell 5.693 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4759.625. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 22 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $76 million, the most since before the Christmas-New Year break, as traders and investors return from holiday.
Fletcher, the biggest company on the NXZX 50, dropped 2.8 percent to $8.45 and Telecom fell 1.3 percent to $2.31. Retailer Kathmandu led the slide, falling 3.3 percent to $3.20. Chorus was down 1.4 percent to $1.405 and Air New Zealand shed 2.4 percent to $1.605.
Wynyard Group rose about 12 percent to a record-high close of $1.33 after the intelligence software developer said United Arab Emirates money exchange GCC Exchange will use its anti-money laundering software to enhance its ability to detect, investigate, and report suspicious activity. The value of the contract, which follows four deals signs in November and December, wasn’t disclosed.
“The market certainly liked Wynyard’s contract, though we don’t know what it is worth,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “Investors are viewing 2014 as a year of growth and are starting to chase growth stocks rather than income stocks. They want growth to outpace interest rates and inflation.”
Diligent climbed 8.4 percent to $4.78, Xero rose 2.7 percent to $34 and SLI Systems rose 4.6 percent to $1.83.
“Diligent was obviously oversold late last year,” Williamson said. “Investors are now starting to think the reinstatement of its financial accounts is not too far away and we can focus on the growth again.”
Summerset Group led gains among retirement village operators, rising2.7 percent to $3.44. Metlifecare gained 2.4 percent to $4.20 and Ryman Healthcare rose 0.6 percent to $7.87.
Transport group Mainfreight gained 2.3 percent to $12.25 while Freightways dropped 0.4 percent to $4.65.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 0.8 percent to $3.86 and Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund fell 0.7 percent to $5.86.