The New Zealand sharemarket hit a nearly seven-month high today with strong runs from several mid-cap stocks providing the highlights.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 25.03 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 3324.76. The top-50 more than reversed yesterday's loss of 5.16 points.

Medical supplies company Ebos hit another record high today, reaching 760 earlier before closing at 755, up 5c. The share price has climbed from 691 on October 21, the day the company announced a special dividend.

Fellow mid-cap stock Restaurant Brands also hit a record high, closing up 4c at 284, a cent below its session high.

Freight forwarder Mainfreight reached a two-year high of 725, up 4c, while network operator Vector matched Friday's nearly three-year high of 243, up 2c.

Fletcher Building rose 11c to 824, Contact Energy was up 4c at 595, casino company Sky City gained 7c to 316 and Sky TV rose 10c to 547.

Among the decliners, Air New Zealand lost a cent to 134, Steel and Tube fell 2c to 240, and Port of Tauranga retreated from its record high of 750 earlier today to close at 746.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust, formerly ING Medical Properties Trust, lost 10c to 124 after news it has conditionally agreed to buy 12 hospital and medical properties in Australia for A$160 million ($206m).

The transaction is to be funded by a one-for-one pro-rata renounceable rights issue at 105 per unit, raising $150.9m. A A$100m extension of Vital's existing debt facility would also fund further property capital spending.

Dual-listed stocks were mixed, with AMP down 8c at 682 and ANZ down 10c at 3200, but Westpac up 40c at 3000 and Telstra a cent higher at 347.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was almost flat at 4701 after an interest rate rise from the Reserve Bank of Australia to 4.75 per cent.

Earlier in the United States, stocks ended flat after choppy trading amid news of a rise in manufacturing activity in the US and China and caution on the eve of a crucial Federal Reserve meeting.

Stock indices opened with strong gains, buoyed by the industrial data, but momentum evaporated and stocks clawed out of negative territory in late trade.

- NZPA