New Zealand shares gained on Monday, led higher by Ryman Healthcare and A2 Milk Co on some positioning ahead of upcoming earnings, while Infratil and Fonterra dropped.
The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 45.4 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8335.36.
Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 21 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $86.6 million.
JBWere NZ equity manager Rickey Ward said, while the market was quiet, investors were positioning themselves ahead of the earnings season to come in February.
Roughly two-thirds of the benchmark index will report either first half or annual earnings in the period.
"We're either going to get confirmation that the market is stretched for value, or we're going to get justification for it to keep going higher," Mr Ward said.
"Analysts have earnings per share growth of around 6 per cent, a large portion of that is recovery for a number of stocks - mainly SkyCity and A2."
"If you don't get either of those occurring, it's going to be a flat year. You need a lot of good things to happen to justify a continuation of the thematic. A2's going to lead the charge on whether we get EPS growth again."
A2 Milk Co rallied 3.5 per cent to $8.83 on Monday.
"They had good news last week on going into further stores in the US, there's a general feeling that they're going to announce a positive set of numbers in the next update," Mr Ward said.
SkyCity Entertainment Group dropped 1 per cent to $3.95.
Fonterra Shareholders Fund fell 0.8 per cent to $6.47.
Fonterra Cooperative Group on Monday criticised struggling infant formula producer and distributor Beingmate Baby and Child Food, of which Fonterra owns 18.8 per cent, after the Chinese company cut its forecast earnings overnight.
"They have come under a bit of pressure regarding that particular investment, particularly in light of how successful A2 has been in that market through a different distribution channel," Mr Ward said.
Ryman Healthcare led the index higher, up 3.9 per cent to $10.80, with Spark New Zealand rising 1.7 per cent to $3.62.
Infratil was the worst performer, dropping 2.1 per cent to $3.26. NZX fell 1.8 per cent to $1.12.