New Zealand shares rose, led by Kathmandu and Air New Zealand, as improving global sentiment sparked interest in some of the biggest companies on the bourse, although Ryman Healthcare fell after earnings disappointed some investors.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 20.35 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7392.11. Within the index, 22 rose, nine were unchanged and 19 fell. Turnover was $103 million.
Stocks were largely positive across Asia after a rebound on Wall St overnight on Thursday, although the proposed bank tax on Australia's biggest lenders continue to weigh across the Tasman.
Hamilton Hindin Greene broker Grant Williamson said the better global mood had cheered investors. "We had seen a little bit of profit taking and that's obviously dried up and we've had a few investors coming into the market."
Kathmandu rose 3.7 per cent to $1.99, while Air New Zealand gained 2.5 per cent to $2.87. Fletcher Building added 1.9 per cent to $8.14.
News that migration remained at a record high in April and short-term visitor arrivals also hit a new record also helped support Air New Zealand.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1 per cent to $10.17. Earlier this week investors were cheered by news that ResMed withdrew its complaint against F&P Healthcare in the US International Trade Commission, although it plans to replace it with a new action and is still pursuing its patent dispute with the New Zealand maker of breathing masks in several other jurisdictions.
AFT Pharmaceuticals rose 1.7 per cent to $2.34 after it obtained regulatory approval to sell its Maxigesic painkiller in nine additional European countries.
Xero continued to power higher as the company moves toward break-even, ending up 0.9 per cent at $23.40 while Briscoe Group was unchanged at $4 after it said it would pursue a secondary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange next week in a bid to broaden its investor base.
In the other direction, Sky Network Television dropped 2.0 per cent to $3.51. Ryman Healthcare fell 1.9 per cent to $8.47 after it posted a record annual profit, adding to its run of 15 years of earnings growth, as the hot property market underpinned gains from resales of its occupancy rights.
Dual-listed Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 1.4 per cent to $30.66 while Sanford fell 1.4 per cent to $7.05.