New Zealand shares rose as interest from international investors pushed the benchmark higher for another day, with Synlait Milk and Comvita advancing while Sky Network Television gave up gains.
The S&P/NZX50 increased 2.97 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 8,115.02. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 19 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $147 million.
"It's our 11th consecutive up day, and our 10th consecutive month, pushed upwards by continuing flows from offshore investors," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. "You often see a few names come off in the mornings, and then go for aggressive runs in the afternoon."
Synlait Milk led the index, up 2.1 per cent to $7.78, a fresh record. The stock has gained 145 per cent this year, tracking A2 Milk, the marketer which it supplies, which has seen rapid sales growth. A2 dipped 0.6 per cent to $7.85 today, and is up 271 per cent this year.
"They're certainly caught up in that thematic from A2, but they don't have the leverage that the brand owner does, and one wonders who's been buying at these levels given that fact," Goodson said.
Comvita rose 1.5 per cent to $7.59. The Te Puke-based company raised its 2018 earnings outlook after a solid recovery of the so-called "grey channel" into China and significant North American sales, chief executive Scott Coulter said in a presentation at the annual meeting. It now has "confidence in a profit greater than $17.1m," the figure it gave earlier this year. It reiterated an expectation to resume dividend payments in the current financial year.
Freightways gained 1.3 per cent to $7.60 and Infratil rose 1.3 per cent to $3.18.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group rose 0.3 per cent to $33.35. Former Prime Minister John Key will take over as chair of ANZ Bank New Zealand, the country's biggest bank, next year in his second high-profile directorship. Air New Zealand, Key's other directorship, fell 0.3 per cent to $3.43.
Sky Network Television was the worst performer, down 4.8 per cent to $2.80. Goodson said the stock was giving back some recent gains ahead of its annual meeting tomorrow afternoon.
Mercury NZ dipped 0.1 per cent to $3.445. The electricity generator-retailer, formerly known as MightyRiverPower, raised annual earnings guidance as the spell of wet weather boosted generation at its North Island hydro plants. Goodson said the lift had been expected by the market.