New Zealand shares rose as markets were relieved US midterm elections did not throw up any major political surprises. SkyCity Entertainment gained on the sale of its Darwin casino.

The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 41.22 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8,896.01. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, eight were unchanged and 22 fell. Turnover was $107 million.

Wall Street's main indexes rose more than 2 per cent after the midterm elections, in which Democrats wrested control of the House of Representatives and Republicans retained the Senate.

"New Zealand has taken the lead from overseas. I don't think it was an unexpected outcome and it's the unexpected, the uncertainty that the market doesn't like," said Forsyth Barr broker Suzanne Kinnaird.

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Investors may also have been cheered by news that the Reserve Bank is still planning on keeping rates on hold until December 2020 as it looks to jumpstart still tepid inflation. Low rates make equity markets more attractive.

SkyCity rose 3.5 per cent to $3.83 after it said it had agreed to sell its Darwin casino for A$188 million ($201.5m) to US-based Delaware North as part of a plan to free up capital and focus on its more profitable Auckland and Adelaide operations.

The sale price is about A$8m above the book value of the asset, excluding neighbouring waterfront land at Little Mindil, which the company plans to sell separately.

SkyCity has not yet determined what it will do with the proceeds.

Synlait Milk lifted 3.6 per cent to $8.70 while A2 Milk lifted 1.4 per cent to $10.45. Kinnaird said both stocks were benefiting from the relief rally. Genesis Energy also lifted, gaining 2.2 per cent at $2.53.

TradeMe rose 2.5 per cent to $5.02. Chief executive Jon Macdonald reiterated at the company's annual meeting that the business expects revenue growth of between 5 and 8 per cent in the current financial year.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund were unchanged a $4.86. Earlier the Fonterra Shareholders Council lodged an independent financial analysis of the dairy giant at the annual general meeting of farmer-shareholders at Lichfield, in the Waikato. The analysis shows an "unambiguous" pattern of commercial under-performance during the past 17 years.

Kathmandu continued to slip, shedding 0.7 per cent to $2.83. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare benefited from the improved sentiment, adding 1.5 per cent to $14.02.

Z Energy continued to claw back some of its losses, adding 1.1 per cent to $5.60.

Pushpay remained out of favour, falling 5.6 per cent to $3.38. despite news it expects to break-even for the first time in December this year and to post its first earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and currency adjustments in the year to March 31.

Small cap e-commerce software seller SLI Systems added 5.3 per cent to 60 cents after Texas software investor ESW Holdings improved its final offer. It will pay 65 cents, or $41.4m, for SLI's shares. That is 3 per cent more than the minimum price the company indicated on October 23.

Austin-based ESW has also raised its offer for most of the 74 tranches of options Christchurch-based SLI has issued since 2006. The final prices range from from 3 cents to 40 cents, up from 3 cents to 34 cents initially.