RTTNews - Strong opens are expected for the New Zealand and Australia markets on Friday, following another strong overnight lead from Wall Street.

New Zealand's market followed Wall Street's strong lead and posted widespread gains on Thursday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index gained 37.4 points or 1.35 percent to 2,801.5.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 39.6 million shares valued at NZ$110.3 million.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 56 to 21 with 37 unchanged.

Among the issues of interest, volume leader Telecom Corp of NZ advanced NZ$0.05, Contact Energy was up .11, Fletcher Building was up .17, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advanced .06 and Nuplex was up .11.

In Australia, markets posted gains for a third straight session. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index was up 71.1 points, or 1.81 per cent, at 3,995.6 while the broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 70.3 points, or 1.79 per cent, to 3,987.8.
For the three day period, Australia's market has gained 7 percent, adding value of A$70 billion.

Trading volume totaled 2.21 billion shares valued at A$5.31 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 759 to 278 with 311 unchanged.

The financials helped lead the rally, with Australia and NZ Bank gaining A$0.15, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up .59, National Australia Bank was up .60 and Westpac was up .22.

The mining leaders were also higher, as BHP Billiton gained .61 and rival Rio Tinto was up $2.32. Among the junior miners, Fortescue Metals was up .17 and OZ Minerals was unchanged.

In the gold sector, Sino Gold added .23 or 4.6 percent, Newcrest Mining rose .74 and Lihir Gold was up three cents.
Elsewhere, Bluescope Steel gained .19 or more than 7 percent on volume of 50.3 million shares.

The session's most heavily traded stock, Telstra, was down two cents of volume of 50.4 million shares.

Overseas, markets in the U.S. were headed for more solid gains on Thursday.

About a half hour before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 86.99 points or 1.01 percent at 8,703.20, the Nasdaq composite index was ahead by 21.91 points or 1.18 percent at 1,884.81 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up by 8.14 points or 0.87 percent at 940.82.

Markets in the Asia/Pacific region put in a mixed performance on Thursday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average posted a gain of 37.43 points or 1.35 percent to close at 2,801.51.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 103.21 points or 0.57 percent to 18,361.87.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was down 4.81 points or 0.15 percent at 3.183.74.

India's BSE 30 index dropped 2.99 points or 0.02 percent to 13,250.25.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index declined 5.33 points or 0.25 percent to 2,117.95.

The KOSPI/Seoul Composite index advanced 11.36 points or 0.80 percent to 1,432.22.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 41.70 points or 0.62 percent at 6,780.30.

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