Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Mainfreight helped pull the market higher as retail card spending declined, but retail shares seemed unaffected by the new data.
The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 39.5 points, or 0.3%, to 11,920.41. Turnover was $114.2 million.
Hamilton Hindin Greene’s Grant Davies said the index’s main movers today were healthcare distributor Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH) and logistics company Mainfreight.
“It's the large growth stocks that are getting the buying pressure today, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in particular is continuing to get a good recent run,” he said.
FPH was up 2.3% to $25.32, and Mainfreight rose 2.4% to $71.65. Mainfreight’s competitor Freightways was also up 2% to $10.
Freightways chief executive Mark Troughear told BusinessDesk recently that the firm will look to Australia for investment opportunities rather than compete against NZ Post.
His comments followed the news that the government allowed the state-owned postal service to retain $400m of the $1.087 billion it received for its 53% stake in Kiwi Group Holdings, owner of Kiwibank and NZ Home Loans, when the crown took over the company.
Allied Farmers was up 1.4% to 75 cents in light trading after the primary sector investment company told the market it had managed to secure a significant increase in its tax losses.
Retail card spending came out and was found to have fallen by 2.5% in December compared with the previous month. Statistics NZ said this was a $166m drop.
However today, Michael Hill climbed 6% to $1.23, KMD Brands edged up 1% to $1.07, The Warehouse rose 0.8% to $2.64, and Hallenstein Glasson Holdings was up 0.2% to $5.35.
Briscoe Group was the only retailer to edge down: 0.2% to $4.79.
Westpac Bank fell 1.2% to $25.50. The bank is predicting more pain for households over the year ahead as inflation erodes spending power and borrowing costs go higher.
ANZ Bank was also down 1.7% to $26.75.
Aged-care provider Radius Residential Care jumped 8.1% to 33.5 cents. Meanwhile, fleet company Eroad fell 5.1% to 93 cents.
The NZ dollar was trading at 64.45 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, down slightly from 64 US cents yesterday.