New Zealand shares rose, joining a global rally as US President Donald Trump's proposed US$1 trillion of infrastructure spending and aspirations to drive American economic growth stoked investor optimism.

Summerset Holdings and Metlifecare gained in the wake of better earnings results in a lacklustre reporting season.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 27.05 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7175.83. Within the index, 36 stocks gained, nine fell, and five were unchanged. Turnover was $115.9 million.

Stock markets across Asia followed Wall Street higher after Trump's speech to the Joint Session of Congress dialled back the rhetoric of the campaign that's dogged his early appearances.


"New Zealand does appear to be lagging behind," said Grant Williamson, a director at Christchurch-based Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Investors are starting to see there's a large number of stocks that are fully-priced on the earnings they reported and it's getting more difficult for investors to find value in this market."

Williamson said retirement village operators Metlifecare and Summerset were two of the better performers on the day, and also stood out with stronger-than-expected earnings. Summerset rose 1.9 per cent to $5.40 and Metlifecare gained 1.7 per cent to $6.05.

"Those two reported earnings above expectations," he said. "Both Metlifecare and Summerset learned a valuable lesson off Ryman a number of years ago that there are very good margins in development."

Ryman Healthcare fell 1 per cent to $8.83.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which is seen as a proxy for sentiment about the US market given its reliance on sales into the US and Mexican manufacturing, rose 0.8 per cent to $9.28.

Comvita led the market higher, up 3 per cent to $7.49, while Trade Me Group was up 1.9 per cent to $5.34.

Warehouse Group posted the biggest fall on the day, down 2.7 per cent to $2.55. The country's biggest listed retailer is set to report first-half earnings next week, having recently announced plans to strip up to $20m of annual spending in a restructure.

Sky Network Television fell 2.4 per cent to $3.71. The pay-TV operator this week said it hadn't given up on a planned merger with Vodafone New Zealand after getting it shot down by the Commerce Commission, with both parties declining to trigger a termination clause.

Among blue chip stocks, Spark NZ declined 0.8 per cent to $3.525, Fletcher Building rose 1.3 per cent to $9.73 and Auckland International Airport fell 1.2 per cent to $7.26.

CBL Group rose 6.1 per cent to $3.15, recovering from a 20 per cent drop over the past week. The credit surety and financial risk insurer gave guidance for operating earnings to rise by up to 22 per cent this year, building on a 27 per cent gain in 2016.