With less than a week from Christmas, investors didn’t think Santa had dropped by earlier when dairy manufacturer Synlait Milk announced it was reducing its forecast milk price for the 2022-23 season.

Across the broader market, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 85.5 points or 0.74%, to 11,518.14. Turnover was $97.8 million.

Grant Davies, an investment advisor from Hamilton Hindin Greene, said there hadn’t been a huge amount of individual company news out today as the countdown to Christmas continued but New Zealand’s market had still been pushed lower by flow through from US markets on Friday.

“No Christmas rally as of yet,” he told BusinessDesk.

Synlait Milk fell 3% to $3.52 after the dairy manufacturer told the market this morning that it was reducing its forecast base milk price for the 2022-23 season to $9.00/kgMS from $9.50/kgMS. 

Synlait said the revised forecast reflected weaker global demand since it provided its last update in September, with the weakened demand coinciding with the cost of living increasing globally.

Economic activity in China also remained suppressed due to covid-19 restrictions.

Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units were also down 2.1% to $3.21 while A2 Milk edged up 0.7% to $7.07.

Media company NZME completed its on-market share buyback and will pay $17.5m for 14.7m shares, or 7.4% of the shares on issue.

NZME, which owns BusinessDesk, the NZ Herald and a host of radio stations, including Newstalk ZB, announced last November that it was going to buy up to $30m of its own shares as a vehicle to return capital to shareholders post the sale of GrabOne for $17.5m in August 2021.

Today, the stock was down 1.7% to $1.14.

Cannasouth dropped 6.7% to 28 cents after the medicinal cannabis firm said it would pay $48.8m for Equalis Pharmaceuticals in an all-scrip deal, with Cannasouth also planning to raise another $9m to fund the enlarged group's working capital. 

The Waikato-based firm said it would issue 147.9m new Cannasouth shares at an issue price of 33c, doubling the number of shares on issue, and describing the transaction as a "merger of equals".

Allied Farmers also announced it plans to buy out half of NZ Rural Land Co's manager that it doesn't already own. 

NZ Rural Land Management is the manager of NZ Rural Land Co, which manages an 11,710-hectare portfolio of 22 farming properties across South Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

The main chunk of this land includes 14 dairy farms totalling 6,350ha, formerly owned by the Van Leeuwen Group, bought last June for $112.5m.

NZ Rural Co fell 2.7% to $1.06.

SkyCity announced that its chief people and culture officer, Claire Walker, had resigned and would step down in March of next year, with Walker making the move to Genesis Energy.

The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index came out today, with consumer confidence falling 12 points – its lowest level since the survey began 34 years ago.

The survey – which indicated how optimistic consumers are about the future – hit 75.6 in the December quarter on the back of increased borrowing costs and the sharp rise in consumer prices, particularly across food, housing and fuel.

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 63.86 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, up from 63.53 US cents on Friday.