New Zealand shares rose yesterday, extending the NZX 50 index's unbroken run through March as investors bought Telecom for its yield and bet on stocks tied to a return of global growth including Fisher & Paykel Appliances.

The NZX 50 gained 34.74 points, or about 1 per cent, to 3533.73, the highest close since early June last year. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 15 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $161 million, second only to yesterday in terms of value this year.

Telecom, which spun off its Chorus network business in November, rose 2.2 per cent to $2.53. The stock has advanced 19 per cent this year. At yesterday's price it has a dividend yield of about 12 per cent. Chorus was unchanged at $3.62 and has gained 15 per cent this year.

"People around the world are continuing to seek yield and they have high yield," James Lindsay, equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management, said. "It has been a pretty solid start to the year all round."


F&P Appliances rose 5.2 per cent to 51c as signs of a return to growth in the US stoked demand for companies that are poised to benefit.

"People are taking on more risk in their portfolios and this has financial leverage and leverage to the economic cycle," Lindsay said.

Pumpkin Patch, the children's clothing chain, rose 5.5 per cent to 96c, the highest close since August last year. The company took charges against its first-half earnings for the cost to close its unprofitable stores in the US and the UK sales rose.

"It was a pretty messy result," Lindsay said. Still, "They have gone through the hardest part and survived it and they haven't needed to raise more debt."

Goodman Fielder rose 8.1 per cent to 94c, the day's biggest percentage gain on the NZX 50.

SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 4.4 per cent to $4.05, the highest since January 2008.

Fletcher Building, the construction and building products group, rose 1.9 per cent to $6.98, a five-month high.

OceanaGold fell 4.8 per cent to $2.95 as a rising US dollar weighed on the price of gold. PGG Wrightson fell 2.5 per cent to 39c.

Trade Me, the auction website, rose 0.6 per cent to $3.42, the highest level since its initial public offering.