New Zealand shares rose as investors shrugged off a slightly gloomier outlook for Synlait Milk and joined a global rally as the latest bout in the US-China trade war wasn't as harsh as feared.

The S&P/NZX index increased 29.29 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 9,345.06. Within the index 23 stocks gained, 18 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $148.2 million.

Stocks across Asia followed Wall Street higher after US President Donald Trump's 10 percent tariff on US$200 billion ($302.9b) of Chinese goods and the subsequent retaliation were more moderate than investors had anticipated. The Shanghai Composite index was up 1 per cent in afternoon trading, while Japan's Topix gained 1.5 per cent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index increased 0.5 per cent.

"The trade shots did not trigger a risk-off mode but acted as a catalyst to positive investor sentiment," CMC Market analyst Jonathan Chan said. "Risk assets such as equities found support in a robust manner."


The main local news was Synlait's near-doubling of annual profit to $74.6m as the milk processor lifted sales of its high-value dairy products. However, the share price fell 6.6 per cent to $11.94 due to chief executive Leon Clement playing down the outlook, saying infant formula sales will probably grow at a slower pace.

Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere, said the result was pretty good and in line with expectations, but the outlook fell short of what people were hoping for.

"High multiples and good returns bring high expectations and the market is very sensitive to slight variations on that," he said.

A2 Milk Co gained 1.1 per cent to $12.27.

Heartland Bank rose 1.8 per cent to $1.70 after the lender's shareholders approved a restructuring to split the Australian reverse mortgage business form the bank, removing it from Reserve Bank prudential rules.

Exporter Comvita led the market higher, up 2.7 per cent to $6.57. Dual-listed banks Westpac Banking Corp and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group gained 1.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent to $30.99 and 31.50 respectively.

Chorus gained 1 per cent to $5, a record for the network company that was carved out of Telecom in 2011. Spark New Zealand increased 0.5 per cent to $4.08.

Arvida Group gained 1.5 per cent to $1.36. The retirement village operator yesterday told investors the cooling property market hadn't spilled over into its resales, which were still selling at widening margins.

Tourism Holdings extended its decline for another day, falling 2.9 per cent to $5.09. Freightways fell 1.3 per cent to $7.75.

New Zealand Refining slipped 0.4 per cent after reporting its second-biggest throughput in July/August, at a smaller margin than a year earlier.

Kathmandu Holdings decreased 1.2 per cent to $3.19. The retailer yesterday reported a 33 per cent increase in annual profit and outlined plans for a dual-brand strategy in North America and Europe.

Pushpay Holdings fell 1 per cent to $4.18. Morgan Stanley today emerged as a substantial shareholder with 5.4 per cent.

Sky Network Television fell 0.5 per cent to $2.11.