New Zealand shares fell following a selloff on Wall Street and as investors pondered whether the looming earnings season will show results that warrant high stock prices.
Telecom and Fletcher Building led the slide.
The NZX 50 Index fell 34.455 points or 0.8% to 4211.946. The index reached a five-year high of 4252.65 on January 31. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 13 rose and 12 were unchanged.
Telecom fell 2.9% to $2.355 and Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the benchmark index, dropped 2.4% to $8.97. Contact Energy, the biggest power company on the exchange, fell 1.1% to $5.20.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 1.2% yesterday.
"The catalyst has been those weak overseas markets," said Hamilton Hindin Green client advisor James Smalley. "The fact we're coming into reporting season creates a bit of uncertainty whether they will post results that justify those high share prices."
PGG Wrightson, the rural services company that led gainers in the previous session, fell 2.2% to 44 cents. Ryman Healthcare declined 1.5% to $4.61.
Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain, led some retailers lower, falling 1.6% to $1.22. Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment retailer, fell 1.3% to $2.27.
Fonterra Shareholders' Fund extended its gains, rising 0.6% to $7.22 ahead of the next GlobalDairyTrade auction. It posted a note on the auction website on February 1, assuring customers that none of the dairy products on offer were "produced during periods in which minute traces of DCD were detected in some dairy products".
AMP, the Australian wealth manager, led gaining stocks, rising 1.5% to A$6.60. SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 1.3% to $3.97 and Trade Me Group, the auction website, rose 0.5% to $4.22.
Nuplex Industries rose 0.6% to $3.34 and fellow manufacturer Skellerup gained 1.2% to $1.67.