New Zealand shares rose, led by Metro Performance Glass and Heartland Bank, while dairy-related companies a2 Milk Co and Synlait Milk continued to weaken.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 42.42 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8,277.51. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 16 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $118 million.

"We had pretty good leads from offshore markets," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "Sentiment is still very buoyant and we're in the time of year that is traditionally quite strong."

Metro Glass led the index, up 5.6 per cent to 95 cents. The stock has dropped 53 per cent this year after multiple earnings disappointments.

Advertisement

"I don't think there's anything fundamental in that, the stock is so beaten up it's probably attracting a few value hunters," Lister said.

Heartland rose 3.5 per cent to $2.07 and Auckland International Airport gained 2.8 per cent to $6.71.

A2 Milk was the worst performer, off 2.1 per cent to $7.78, with Synlait Milk down 2 per cent to $6.70.

"I don't think there's much in that, it's really just profit-taking on the back of a strong run. They've been coming off the boil for the last few weeks," Lister said.

Xero dropped 1.9 per cent to $30.30. In November, the cloud-based accounting software firm announced it will delist from the local stockmarket in favour of an ASX listing to broaden its pool of investors and analysts.

"They're off a good 12 per cent from where they were back in early November. It's further positioning from the local investors, more technical selling than anything fundamental to do with the company."

Kathmandu Holdings fell 0.9 per cent to $2.34.

"There's not a huge demand for cold weather gear at the moment, they're probably a victim of the weather that we're all enjoying," Lister said.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust was flat at $2.19. It has bought Eden Rehabilitation Hospital in Cooroy in Queensland, Australia, for A$23.8m ($25.9m) as part of its ongoing diversification strategy.

Outside the benchmark index, Pyne Gould gained 2.1 per cent to 24c. It has reached a confidential deal with Australia's Wilaci over late payment fees, which it says will be smaller than the £20.5m ($39.8m) cost of its Supreme Court-ordered payout.

New Zealand Refining dipped 0.7 per cent to 70.5c. It says yesterday's outage on the refinery-to-Auckland pipeline was caused by a "false alarm" and that it's back up and running. Augusta Capital was unchanged at $1.04.