New Zealand shares were mixed on Thursday, with investors positioning ahead of the general election on September 23. Xero rose to a three-year high with Summerset Group up while Vector fell.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 8.2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7819.23. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 21 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $146 million.
"The election is still very much in focus, volume this morning running through the market was very light. There's not a lot of corporate news flow," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.
"We've been quick to move away from geopolitical events to the election - we've seen different polls come through, and market participants positioning themselves, because at this stage it's fifty-fifty."
Xero was the best performer, up 3.2 per cent to $28.10, the highest it has traded since June 2014. The stock has rallied 55.6 per cent this year.
"There has been some talk that Xero could benefit if our tax system changes, I think there's more to it than that," Mr McIntyre said.
Summerset Group gained 2 per cent to $5.10. It plans to build its fifth retirement village in the greater Wellington region with the purchase of a 6-hectare block of land north of the city.
"There have been some reports saying that if retirement villages weren't developing those sites New Zealand would have a massive shortfall. It's a bit of positive news from Summerset which reported very well."
Air New Zealand was the worst performer, down 2.6 per cent to $3.33, while Arvida Group shed 1.6 per cent to $1.23.
Vector dropped 2.4 per cent to $3.22. "It's been weak since posting a reasonable result, it looks likely it will be removed from some FTSE indices this coming Friday," Mr McIntyre said.
Auckland Airport dipped 0.3 per cent to $6.36.