New Zealand shares rose, led by Tourism Holdings and Meridian Energy, while Kathmandu Holdings dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 42.07 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,012.73, the first time it's closed above 7,000 since October. Within the index, 37 stocks rose, nine fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $89.3 million.

"The market's clearly a bit better but there's not a lot going on - there's a bit more volume today, which is a sign that people are beginning to make their way back into the industry," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere.

"In many respects, a number of the names brokers have talked about this year have been ones to watch - Healthcare, Mainfreight, CBL, all pretty good demand. It's almost like people have come back today and looked at what brokers are saying and started to deal with it."

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Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.2 per cent to $8.80, Mainfreight gained 1 per cent to $20.90, and CBL Corp, which is not in the benchmark index, advanced 2.7 per cent to $3.80.

Tourism Holdings was the best performer on the index, up 3.5 per cent to $3.88. Meridian Energy gained 2.7 per cent to $2.65 and Scales Corp rose 2.4 per cent to $3.48.

"It's a bit of a sleepy period heading into the Trump inauguration and reporting season, it's pretty hard to get clarity in a market where no-one's around."

NZX rose 1 per cent to $1.04. Cash trading on the NZX dropped in December, halting a four-month streak of gains, with both the value and volume of trades declining, the stockmarket operator said.

Summerset Group rose 0.4 per cent to $4.67. The retirement village operator lifted fourth-quarter sales 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2016, led by sales of new retirement village units in a period that included the opening of a new site in Auckland's suburb of Ellerslie.

Kathmandu Holdings was the worst performer, down 3.2 per cent to $1.84. It's fallen 5.6 per cent since January 4 when it closed at $1.95. Fletcher Building fell 1.9 per cent to $10.38 and Vista Group International dropped 1.3 per cent to $5.48.

Outside the benchmark index, Pushpay Holdings rose 3.4 per cent to $1.85. The shares gained as much as 9 per cent in intraday trading after the mobile payments app developer said annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) grew US$7.3m in the December quarter, exceeding its performance in the prior period.

Michael Hill International rose 1.5 per cent to $1.33. The jewellery chain said preliminary results show total stores sales growth of 5.7 per cent in the six months to December, bolstered by trading in the Christmas period.