January 26, 2018 / 4:38 AM / a year ago

New Zealand shares slip, end week higher; Australia closed

(Updates to close)

Jan 26 (Reuters) - New Zealand shares fell in lacklustre trade on Friday, pressured by healthcare and dairy stocks, but finished the week in the black even as stock markets in Australia were closed for a public holiday.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.7 percent or 58.36 points lower at 8,311.42 in its worst session since January 11.

The index however ended higher for a tenth week in eleven, up 0.3 percent.

“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.”

Dairy firm a2 Milk Company Ltd was the biggest drag on the index, easing from recent record highs with a 2.2 percent drop.

Ryman Healthcare Ltd fell 2.3 percent, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd slid 1.5 percent to its weakest since November 24. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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