New Zealand shares bounced back from Wednesday's 1.5 per cent drop, led by Port of Tauranga and Scales Corporation while Comvita continued to fall.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 45.75 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6941.95. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 12 were unchanged and nine fell. Turnover was $124.8 million.
"There's a little bit of a bounce - the market was obviously very weak on Wednesday, but it's made back about a third of that, so maybe people are doing a bit of bargain hunting," said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
"It's really broad-based but volumes aren't particularly massive. When foreign investors decide to reduce their weighting at the same time as domestic ones, you can get relatively large movements on low volumes."
Port of Tauranga led the index, up 2.7 per cent to $3.75. Scales Corporation rose 2.4 per cent to $2.09, while Kathmandu Holdings gained 2 per cent to $2.01 and Meridian Energy was up 2 per cent to $2.60.
Comvita dropped 1 per cent to $9.35. The shares slumped 11.4 per cent on Wednesday after the manuka honey and health products maker warned a first-half loss was on the cards, which chief executive Scott Coulter described as a "blip".
"Maybe a little bit of the gloss is coming off the wellness products selling into China - it has been a very very good place to be invested in but there's a bit of profit-taking on that end of the market," Smalley said.
Chorus was the worst performer on the index, down 1.3 per cent to $3.70, while Orion Health Group declined 0.9 per cent to $3.20.
Fonterra Shareholders Fund gained 0.2 per cent to $5.91. The co-operative's Australian business has raised its average farmgate milk price to A$5.10 a kilogram of milk solids and increased its forecast closing price thanks to strengthening global dairy prices.
Outside the benchmark index, Wellington Drive Technologies gained 3.5 per cent to 15c. The company, which makes energy-efficient motors for commercial refrigerators, lifted third-quarter revenue 25 per cent to $6.3m and is still targeting positive earnings for the year.
Freightways advanced 0.2 per cent to $6.37. The courier and information management company, seen as a bellwether for the economy, reported an upbeat start to the 2017 financial year. In a first-quarter update at the annual meeting in Auckland yesterday, Freightways reported a 5.6 per cent rise in operating revenue to $133m for the three months ended September 30, while net profit rose 9.9 per cent to $14.8m.
New Zealand Oil & Gas was unchanged at 52c. The Wellington-based explorer and producer was likely to make an announcementsoon over its senior leadership, the chairman, Rodger Finlay, told shareholders at yesterday's annual meeting in the capital.
In other developments, the organiser of a proposed class action against the directors of intelligence software company Wynyard said a rash of shareholders had signed up this week since the board appointed voluntary administrators on Tuesday.
The company had burned through cash and struggled to deliver on revenue guidance. Its shares had plunged to 21.5c when trading was halted this month.