RTTNews - the New Zealand and Australia stock markets are poised to open modestly higher on Friday, after a late-session reversal sent U.S. markets toward an apparent higher finish overnight.

New Zealand's market moved modestly lower on Thursday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index declined 14.5 points or 0.5 percent at 3,076.4.

Trading volume was reported by the NZ Stock Exchange at 44.5 million shares valued at NZ$107.2 million.

There were 39 stocks closing higher, 52 were lower and 29 were unchanged.

The list of the day's most actively traded stocks includes Auckland International Airport, which was down NZ$0.01, Air NZ was down .02, AMP New Zealand Office Trust was down .01, Fletcher Building was up .02, Goodman Property Trust was down .01, Kiwi Income Property Trust was unchanged, Nuplex was up .19, Pike Rive Coal was up .03 and Telecom Corp of NZ was down .04.

Among the dual-listed stocks, AMP was down.11, Australia and NZ Bank was up .35, Telstra was down two cents and Westpac Bank was up .35.

Across the Tasman, Australia's market closed little changed, as losses in the resources sector offset gains among the financials.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 3.7 points or 0.08 percent at 4,450.8 while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 6.3 points or 0.1 percent at 4,458.1.

Trading volume totaled 3.13 billion shares valued at A$6.09 billion.

There were 528 stocks closing higher, 556 lower and 316 unchanged.

With commodity prices falling overnight, the major resources companies followed suit. BHP Billiton was down A$0.50 and rival Rio Tinto was down $1.78.

The big four banks were higher, with Australia and NZ Banking Group up .35, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up .13, National Australia Bank added .30 and Westpac Bank was up .35.

Among the retailers, Woolworths reported a 12.8 percent in full year profits and saw its shares advance .08. Rival Wesfarmers was down .17, David Jones was down .02, Harvey Norman was up .03 and JB Hi-Fi was down .28.

In overseas trading, U.S. stocks worked their way through an up-and-down session Thursday after the morning brought mixed data on the economy. About an hour before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.80 points or 0.48 percent at 9,589.32, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 0.76 points or 0.04 percent at 2.023.67 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was higher by 2.78 points or 0.27 percent at 1,030.90.

Most of the Asia/Pacific region markets closed lower on Thursday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average declined 165.74 points or 1.56 percent at 10,473.97.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 213.57 points or 1.04 percent at 20,242.75.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was down 21,20 points or 0.71 percent at 2,946.40.

The BSE 30 index in India was up 11.22 points or 0.07 percent at 15,781.07.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 24.02 points or 1.01 percent at 2,356.06.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index fell 14.79 points or 0.92 percent to 1,598.33.

The Taiwan Weighted Index dropped 28.46 points or 0.42 percent to 6,690.75.

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