New Zealand stocks retained their firm tone by eking out another gain, led by market favourite Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and selected transport stocks, on light volume.
The key S&P/NZX50 Index closed 51.69 points, or 0.4 per cent, up at 12,586.49 following on from a mixed performance in offshore markets, where Fed-watching remained the order of the day.
Turnover came to 52 million shares, worth $175.9m.
In the US, Wall Street stocks had gained ground on the back of soothing comments from US Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell, following on from last week's weakness, which was prompted by the Fed bringing forward its rate hike projections.
Investors this week had taken comfort from Powell's comments to a congressional committee that the central bank would "do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery".
Salt Funds managing director Matt Goodson said sentiment remained very much driven by developments in the US.
"It's all about whose comments come out next, and more importantly in the US, whether the market takes them as being credible or not," he said.
"Alongside that, the next CPI data and the next jobs data in America will also become very, very important," he said.
"If there is a very strong jobs number, for example, then this very soft, slow process from the Fed will suddenly look less credible," Goodson said.
"The market has been gyrating and it will continue to gyrate as the news flow comes out," he said.
"It's all going to be data-driven from here on in," Goodson said.
Port of Tauranga gained 21c or 3 per cent to $7.07, recouping last Friday's losses, which were the result of index changes.
Auckland International Airport withstood news of rising Covid cases in Sydney to end steady at $7.30.
"It has been holding in quite solidly, despite the Sydney virus news, and quite a few flights have been cancelled," Goodson said.
With the airport, it seemed investors were prepared to look through daily Covid news to regard any weakness as buying opportunities.
Air New Zealand looked to be adrift, losing 2c to $1.57 after releasing an earnings guidance on Friday that was worse than expected, and as the market awaits its eventual capital raising.
"It (the capital raise) looks like its going to be north of a billion dollars. The question is, how far north," he said.
Mainfreight rebounded from recent relative weakness to close $1.85 higher at $75.10.
Reserve Bank of NZ data showing credit card spending jumped by 8.5 per cent in May, month-on-month, clearly did the retail stocks no harm, with Briscoe Group gaining 6c to $5.73 and Hallenstein Glasson firming 4c to $7.40 on light volume.
"Across Australasia, the market is grappling with what the more permanent impact of Covid-19 will be on the retail stocks," Goodson said.
"There are a whole range of competing factors driving those retail stocks."
The resurgent US dollar, and the weakening New Zealand dollar, may be benefiting F&P Healthcare, which derives most of its earnings in US dollars, the stock gaining 52c or 1.6 per cent to $32.10.
The company continues to benefit from the Philips product recall, but less so than its US-Australian competitor, ResMed, Goodson said.
Across the Tasman, stocks were weakening.
"Within those Aussie market movements, there has been a move away from cyclical and value stocks back towards those high multiple growth stocks," Goodson said.
"That has been the underlying current, and to a degree that has spilled over to here."
Among the other movements, utility stock Chorus - which has been weak over the last 12 months - finished 6c higher at $6.09 while Fletcher Building edged back 2c to $7.54.