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[WELLINGTON] New Zealand shares were down 0.7 per cent on Monday as heightened risk aversion weighed on the market.
Sentiment was dented by weaker commodity prices, jitters over Britain's upcoming vote on European Union membership as well as news of the worst mass shooting in US history after a man armed with an assault rifle killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
However, trading on the kiwi bourse was light as the Australian share market was closed for a public holiday.
"The Aussie institutions are not in our market today and that's certainly being reflected in the volumes we are seeing," said Christchurch-based Hamilton Hindin Greene Broker James Smalley.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was off 47 points to 6.925.27 as at 0230 GMT.
Among the biggest gainers was A2 milk up 4.6 per cent. Mr Smalley noted it will move onto the ASX 200 Index this week, which is attracting attention to the stock.
The biggest losers included Orion Health Group down 2.9 per cent and Ryman Healtcare RYM.NZ. down 1.8 per cent. In both cases, however, volume was extremely tepid.
"It is likely just a few retail investors taking a bit off the table" after strong recent gains, said Mr Smalley.
Looking ahead, investors will be keeping a close eye on offshore markets for direction.