New Zealand shares rose on a busier day than usual, marking the final day of trading for one-time market darling Xero.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, Air New Zealand and Sky Network Television gained.

The S&P/NZX50 climbed 143.43 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 8,442.01. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 15 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $216 million.

Software developer Xero delisted from the local bourse today, rising 0.3 per cent to $34 on the NZX and 2.8 per cent to A$31.18 on the Australian Securities Exchange. The stock left the benchmark index last year, but remained on the wider index until today. It is now only listed on the ASX. Since its initial public offering at $1 per share in June 2007, the stock has gained 3,300 per cent. Its record close on the NZX was $44.98 on March 10, 2014, and while it was sold off heavily after that, it never dropped back below $13. Some 1.6 million NZX-listed shares in the stock traded hands today.


"It's a sad day to be honest, but that's the way the cookie crumbles," said Anthony Halls, portfolio manager for equities and diversified income funds at Mint Asset Management

Stocks across Asia helped buoy the local market, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index up 0.3 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gaining 0.4 per cent as at 5:30pm local time.

"The Australian market is up pretty positively as well, and Australian investors are a reasonable size participant in our market," Halls said. "The market really picked up when Asian markets opened this afternoon too."

Today's gain on the NZX50 pushes the benchmark index up 0.5 per cent for January, a month many market watchers expected to be negative after a series of down days. Based on yesterday's close, the index would have seen a 1.2 per cent drop in the month, snapping the streak of gains made every month of 2017.

Turnover jumped today having been low through much of January in the post-Christmas, pre-earnings season lull. The highest previous turnover this month was $141m on January 10, with turnover most days closer to $100m.

SkyCity Entertainment Group led the index, up 4.3 per cent to $4.15.

Air New Zealand gained 3.7 per cent to $3.08 and Sky Network Television advanced 3.6 per cent to $2.91.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund dropped 2.4 per cent to $6.20, making it the worst performer.


Synlait Milk fell 1.6 per cent to $7 and Kathmandu Holdings declined 1.2 per cent to $2.43.

Outside the benchmark index, Augusta Capital was unchanged at $1.07. It will proceed with a planned $19.2m development for Airways Corp after getting resource consent and funding approvals for the deal.