New Zealand shares rose, led higher by Kathmandu Holdings and A2 Milk Co, while CBL Corp dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 34.76 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 8034.7. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 19 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $190 million.

"There was not a lot going on. Some stocks regained ground they lost on Wednesday," said Grant Williamson, broker at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "There's a bit of buying activity in A2 and Synlait which obviously helps the index somewhat."

Kathmandu Holdings led the index, up 2.5 per cent to $2.44. Z Energy gained 2.4 per cent to $7.70 and Metro Performance Glass rose 2.3 per cent to 88c.


A2 Milk Co gained 2.1 per cent to $7.79 while Synlait Milk advanced 1.9 per cent to $7.08.

CBL Corp was the worst performer, down 1.3 per cent to $3.04. Vector dropped 1.2 per cent to $3.31 and Port of Tauranga fell 0.9 per cent to $4.54.

Outside the benchmark index, Pushpay Holdings rose 3.1 per cent to $3.37. The mobile payments app company's results released yesterday show the Auckland-domiciled, US-headquartered company's loss widened to US$12.5m in the six months ended September 30, from US$11.3m a year earlier, while revenue more than doubled to US$29.7m from US$12.1m.

Pushpay says it's planning a US listing and likely capital raising within the next 15 months, but that won't mean delisting from the NZX or ASX.

Steel & Tube Holdings dropped 1 per cent to $2.04. Its first-half earnings may fall as much as 38 per cent, reflecting a write-down of inventory, restructuring costs and margin pressures. The guidance came as the company holds its annual meeting in Wellington.

First-half earnings before interest and tax would be $9m to $10m below the same period the year before, it said. Underlying ebit was about $16m in the first half of the 2017 year.

"The market is not too surprised," Williamson said. "Steel prices are having to be moved up by distributors because underlying steel prices have moved higher and they're trying to recapture margins, but it takes time to flow through."

Rakon gained 7 per cent to 23c. The Auckland company turned to a first-half profit of $908,000 from a $5.7m loss a year earlier, citing growth across the technology company's key markets, improved margins and lower costs.


"That was signalled a wee while ago. It certainly seems to be improving but off a very low base," Williamson said. "Investors will be a little bit relieved there."