New Zealand’s market perked up a little today after yesterday’s sharp decline of 1.7%, but investors are still hanging back to see what the economic tea leaves reveal in US data this week.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 38.2 points, or 0.35%, to 10,956.71. Turnover was light at $86.1 million.

Devon Funds head of retail Greg Smith said US markets were down overnight with the technology sector especially crunched.  

The US sentiment hadn’t flowed through into NZ’s market, which Smith said had a much better run than yesterday.

However, he said, investors globally were still waiting for a slew of economic data to come out of the US this week – especially the consumer price index out Friday NZ time.

Software company Pushpay took NZ’s market by surprise yesterday after putting its shares into an abrupt trading halt in the late afternoon before confirming media speculation that it received a takeover offer from a group of shareholders. 

No details about the takeover offer were provided and Pushpay was down 1.7% to $1.17 today.

Listed payroll software provider PaySauce fell 4.8% to 30 cents in light trading, with the company telling the market today that half of all employing dairy farms in New Zealand now use its system.

That achievement was reached in the three months to September, which PaySauce said was earlier than expected.

Sky Network Television jumped 5.2% to $2.22, a day after announcing it had offloaded RugbyPass in a World Cup rights deal with World Rugby yesterday.

Dual-listed steel and metal distributor Vulcan Steel was also up 2.5% to $7.95 and Metro Performance Glass jumped 4.7% to 22.5 cents, while logistics company Mainfreight rose 1.8% to $66.99.

September’s stronger-than-expected retail spending figures were released today, with economists putting the increase down to the reopening of NZ’s borders and an influx of tourists.

Statistics NZ said this morning that retail card spending rose 1.4%, or $88m, last month, with spending on consumables continuing to rise.

“It's a little bit murky in terms of figuring out what it actually all means but we do know that prices have been running at a prerequisite rate, so you’d expect the top-line effect to increase with that,” Smith said.

Retail stocks were mixed across the board. The Warehouse Group was down 1.6% to $3.13 while KMD Brands was flat at $1.03 per share and Briscoe Group also flat at $5.20.

Other big decliners were Winton Land, which fell 4.5% to $2.34 and Plexure Group, which was down 4.5% to 32 cents. Apple orchards company Scales fell 2.5% to $4.72.

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 55.80 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 56.15 US cents on Monday.

There were a lot of highs and lows across currencies today, CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng said.

This morning the US dollar-Japanese yen cross closed at its highest level since August 1998. 

On the other side of the coin, Teng said the Australian dollar tumbled to its lowest level against the greenback since April 2020.