By Suze Metherell
New Zealand shares rose, led by Diligent Corp after it announced an acquisition.
MightyRiverPower, Freightways, Spark New Zealand gained on upbeat sentiment for New Zealand equities and the wider economy.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 60.66 points, or 1 percent, to 5895.49. Within the index, 37 stocks rose, 10 fell and three were unchanged. Turnover was $189 million.
Diligent, the governance software developer, climbed 4 percent to an eight-month high of $5.93. The company has acquired BoardLink from financial services firm Thomson Reuters for US$10M ($14.69M) in cash to widen its portfolio of products aimed at company directors.
The benchmark rose in broad-based buying, as investors sought dividend paying equities in the face of interest rates staying low for longer.
Meanwhile, increasingly upbeat sentiment over the local economy, where dairy prices, the country's largest export commodity, are improving added to demand for kiwi stocks.
Freightways gained 3.3 percent to $5.65. MRP rose 2.5 percent to $2.65. Spark advanced 2.8 percent to $3.26. Meridian Energy gained 1.8 percent to $2.21. Ryman Healthcare gained 2.6 percent to $7.80.
Genesis Energy advanced 1.1 percent to $1.86.
Goodman Property Trust was unchanged at $1.20. The property investor has completed its refinancing for the year with a new $157 million debt facility for Wynyard Precinct Holdings, its joint venture with Singapore government-owned GIC.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group was the worst performer on the benchmark index, falling 1.6 percent to $30.30, while Westpac Banking Corp declined 1.5 percent to $32.95.
Fletcher Building fell 1.2 percent to $7.16.
Outside the NZ Alternative index, GeoOp, the workforce management app developer, was unchanged at 40 cents after it said it increased revenue and added customers in the first quarter of its financial year as it strives to turn a profit.