New Zealand's benchmark index rose on Thursday – the day before NZ celebrates Matariki as a public holiday for the first time – thanks to index heavyweights pulling the market higher.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 135.2 points or 1.27% to 10,813.92. Turnover was $109.6 million and 55 stocks fell while 87 stocks rose. 

Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said it had been a “strong performance” thanks to big support for Ryman Healthcare, Contact Energy and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Ryman Healthcare shares were up 2.3% to $9 today and Fisher and Paykel shares also rose 2.8% to $19.73.

CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng said the S&P/NZX 50 had risen 0.41% in the first hour of trading, which had been led by Fletcher Building, Mainfreight and Contact Energy.

Fletcher Building shares were flat at $5.08 per share and Mainfreight shares also rose 1.5% to $68.80 today.

McIntyre said Fletcher Buildings had a “fantastic” week and did well buffering itself from the “chatter in the market” around the current gib shortage.

“They've given some good guidance around their earnings before interest and tax, and more importantly, we've seen their ability to increase the margin, which I think the markets really liked,” he said.

Eroad’s shares have had a rocky couple of days this week and while they were up earlier today, by early evening trading they were down 1.9% to $1.55, ending the week on a low note.

However, the transport technology company’s shares have yet to reach their lowest ever trade, which was at $1.45 in October 2016.

McIntyre said with investors’ fears around the US going into a recession and a great part of Eroad’s market trying to grow its business there had led to caution around the stock this week.

Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge which fell yesterday was down again today by 2.9% to 68 cents.

All energy stocks rose apart from Manawa Energy which was down 1.2% to $5.88. Contact Energy was up 3.6% to $7.25, Meridian Energy rose 1.4% to $4.42, and Genesis Energy was also up 4% to $2.63.

Church management software company Pushpay Holdings jumped 5.7% to $1.31 and medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp company Greenfern Industries rose 4.5% to 13 cents.

Chatham Rock Phosphate, the exploration and development company, climbed 18.5% to 38 cents.

Earlier today, Fonterra lifted its forecast payout for the current season and gave strong earnings guidance of 30-45 cents per share – up from the 25-35 cents per share it expects to pay in the 2021-22 financial year. 

ASB economist Nathaniel Keall said in a note this afternoon that if Fonterra continued this trend after July’s first auction, “farmers could still be well served by taking advantage of next month’s fixed-price application window from Fonterra, even with a strong payout in sight at the end of the season”.

Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund shares were up 0.32% to $3.16, and A2 Milk was up 2% to $4.71.

The NZ dollar was trading at 62.60 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 63.39 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 70.75, from 71.34 yesterday.