New Zealand shares were mixed, with Heartland Bank hitting a record and Sky Network Television gaining, while Warehouse Group dropped after news that it will leave the benchmark index.
The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 17.2 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7194.79. Within the index, 28 stocks fell, 15 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $120 million.
"We've bucked the trend a little bit today, Australia is trading lower but we're up. A couple of our larger stocks are trading firmer to get our index in the positive - Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, where obviously the weakness in the kiwi dollar is creating some buying interest in that stock, and Spark," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
F&P Healthcare gained 2.3 per cent to $9.80, while Spark New Zealand rose 2 per cent to $3.65.
Sky TV was the best performer, up 3.5 per cent to $3.84. The stock fell after Sky's proposed merger with Vodafone NZ was declined by the Commerce Commission last month, and investors were doing some bargain hunting, Williamson said.
SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 2.4 per cent to $4.20.
"It has been quietly improving since it came out with its result back in February, It wasn't much to smile about but the stock has been quite weak," Williamson said.
Heartland Bank gained 1.9 per cent to an all-time high of $1.62. It has completed $40 million of capital raising after its discounted share purchase plan closed more than three times oversubscribed. The lender raised $20 million selling shares to existing investors at $1.46 apiece, saying the offer would be scaled back because it received applications for $62 million of shares.
"A few shareholders will be a little disappointed with the results of the capital raising as they're not getting as much so they're topping up on market to get their stakes back up," Williamson said.
Summerset Group was the worst performer on the index, down 3.3 per cent to $5.22, while Goodman Property Trust dropped 2.5 per cent to $1.195 and NZX fell 1.8 per cent to $1.07.
Warehouse dipped 0.4 per cent to $2.48. It will leave the NZX50 Index when it rebalances on March 20, to be replaced by Sanford.
"Obviously it's trading pretty low on a historical basis, it has been failing to meet expectations and investors will be pretty disappointed with its performance. It seems to always be undertaking restructuring but there's still a long road to go," Williamson said.
Outside the benchmark index, Energy Mad was placed in a trading halt at 2.4c pending an announcement. The shares have dropped 27 per cent in 12 months.