RTTNews - Strong opens are expected Thursday for the New Zealand and Australia sharemarkets, in the wake of more sharp gains on Wall Street overnight. U.S. stocks were broadly higher.

New Zealand's market posted a modest gain on Wednesday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 15.58 points or 0.6 percent to 2,764.1.

Turnover was reported by the NZ Stock Exchange at x million shares valued at NZ$ million.

Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 43 to 20, with 48 unchanged.

Among the session's most actively traded issues, Auckland International Airport was down NZ$0.03, Fletcher Building was up .07, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up .03, Goodman Property Trust was unchanged, Kiwi Income Properties was unchanged, SkyCity Entertainment was up .04 and Telecom Corp of NZ was down two cents.

For the Australia/New Zealand dual-listed stocks, Telstra was up a penny, Westpac Bank was up .31, Lion Nathan was up a penny, AMP was down .03, Australia and NZ Bank was up .12 and APN News & Media was up a penny.

Across the Tasman, Australia's sharemarket posted a solid gain, led once again by the resources and banking sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Average advanced 57.4 points or 1.48 percent to 3,924.5 while the broader All ordinaries index was up 58.7 points or 1.52 percent to 3,917.5.

Turnover volume was 1.78 billion shares valued at A$3.93 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 659 to 319 with 305 unchanged.

The financial sector was higher, bolstered by better than expected results from U.S. -based Goldman Sachs. Among the major banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group was up A$0.12, Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced .52, National Australia rose .35 and Westpac Bank added .31.

For the mining sector, BHP Billiton was up .51 and rival Rio Tinto was up .58 after reaffirming its full year production guidance for iron ore. Among the junior miners, Fortescue Metals was up .21 and OZ Minerals was up .02.

The gold miners were mixed, with Newcrest Mining up .22, Lihir Gold up .02 and Newmont Mining down .08.

For the retailers, Woolworths was up .13, Wesfarmers was up .14, Harvey Norman was up .16, , JB Hi-Fi was up .07and David Jones was up .14 while Pacific Brands was down a nickel.

Overseas, Wall Street stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday, albeit on light trading volume. About a half hour before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead by 238.96 points or 2.86 percent at 8,598.45, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 57.14 points or 3.17 percent at 1,856.87 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 24.43 points or 2.70 percent at 930.27.

The major markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed higher on Wednesday for a 2nd straight day.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average advanced 7.44 points or 0.08 percent to 9.269.25.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 372.93 points or 2.09 percent at 18,258.66.

The Shanghai Composite index in China was up 43.39 points or 1.38 percent at 3,188.55.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia rose 66.70 points or 3.24 percent at 2,123.28.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index advanced 35.30 points or 2.55 percent at 1,420.86.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 99.19 points or 1.49 percent to 6,738.60.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com