New Zealand shares end lower weighed by travel, utility stocks; Australia closed

(Updates to close)

Jan 26 (Reuters) - Industrial and tourism-related stocks pressured New Zealand shares on Tuesday, amid muted trading, as Australian equity markets were shut for a holiday.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.6% to end at 13,323.46 points, with trading volumes at over two-third of the 30-day average.

New Zealand confirmed on Monday that a 56-year old woman had contracted COVID-19, marking its first coronavirus case in several months, leading neighbouring Australia to suspend a travel bubble with the country for 72 hours.

Auckland International Airport Ltd lost 2.8%, Air New Zealand fell 1.2%, while motorhomes rental company Tourism Holdings lost 1.6%.

“Aviation stocks would be affected if borders have to stay closed for longer, especially with Australia stopping any New Zealand flights into their country. So there is a little bit of nervousness in that sector,” said Grant Williamson, investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Power retailers Contact Energy, Meridian Energy and Mercury NZ, among the top percentage losers, were down between 3.7% and 2.3%.

The ASX200 index did not trade on account of the Australia Day holiday.

Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel