New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a new five-year high, led by stocks that are among broker picks for 2013, such as PGG Wrightson and Ryman Healthcare.
The NZX 50 rose 15.45 points, or 0.4%, to 4080.90, the highest close since December 2007, bringing its gain this year to 24%. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 12 fell and 16 were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $57 million, reflecting reduced trading during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.
Wrightson, the nation's biggest rural services company, gained 4.8% to 44 cents, the highest close since September 2011. It was among three companies singled out in an NZ Herald survey of brokers this week for gains in 2013.
Of the other two, Ryman rose 0.7 percent to a record $4.51 and Diligent Board Member Services rose 0.6% to $5.47, for a 183% gain this year.
"There's quite a lot of confidence in the market" for 2013, said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "While we don't expect another 25% gain next year, returns will still beat the banks."
Telecom rose 2.9% to $2.31 and has gained 9.2% this year. Australian wealth manager AMP rose 2.8% to $6.17.
Hellaby Holdings rose 5.6% to $3.38, adding to its gains yesterday, when the company said it would buy a controlling stake in specialised engineering maintenance and industrial cleaning company Contract Resources.
Pacific Edge, which is marketing a test for bladder cancer, rose 6% to 53 cents.
Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX 50, fell 0.6% to $8.40. Contact Energy declined 0.2% to $5.27.
Hallenstein Glasson Holdings, the clothing chain, fell 1.1% to $5.34 and Restaurant Brands, the fastfood operator, fell 1.5% to $2.64.
Mainfreight, the transport and logistics company, rose 1.1% to $11.80, OceanaGold climbed 1.5% to $3.45 and Sky Network Television rose 1.2% to $4.90.
Steel & Tube Holdings, which sells steel building materials, dropped 1.6% to $2.40 and was the biggest decliner today.