New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 index to its highest since mid-March. Sky Network Television rose after being exempted from a telecommunications charge while SkyCity Entertainment fell amid calls for the Government to abandon a conference centre deal.

The NZX 50 rose 2.43 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3525.19. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 12 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was a below-average $84.5 million.

Rakon, which makes components for navigation systems, rose 4.2 per cent to 50c. The stock is rated "hold" based on the consensus of recommendations in a Reuters survey, with a price target of 62c.

Sky TV, the nation's dominant pay-TV company, rose 0.4 per cent to $5.35.


SkyCity fell 1.8 per cent to $3.82. The casino and hotel operator is hoping to clinch a deal with the Government to build a $350 million convention centre in Auckland in exchange for a law change allowing it to run more slot machines. The Labour Opposition has called for the project to be retendered.

"I think investors will be hoping it goes through - it's a win-win for the tourism industry and the company," said Grant Williamson, director at brokerage Hamilton Hindin Greene.

It was a mixed day for retailers. Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch fell 2.8 per cent to $1.05, the biggest percentage decline on the index.

Kathmandu rose 1.8 per cent to $1.68.

Xero, which sells a cloud-based accounting system, rose 1.9 per cent to $3.85, bringing its gains this year to 37 per cent. The stock has climbed from $2.50 a year ago.

Auckland International Airport fell 1.2 per cent to $2.53 and Air New Zealand, the national carrier, gained 1.2 per cent to 88c.

Among the largest stocks, Contact Energy rose 0.2 per cent to $4.91, Fletcher Building fell 0.2 per cent to $6.28 and Telecom was unchanged at $2.53.