RTTNews - Strong opens are expected Friday for the New Zealand and Australia stock markets, following Wall Street's sharp gains overnight.

New Zealand's sharemarket posted its eighth straight gain on Thursday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 18.2 points or 0.6 percent to 2,918.6.

Trading volume totaled 48,7 million shares valued at NZ$126.1 million.
There were 45 stocks closing higher, 28 lower and 42 unchanged.

Among the session's most heavily traded stocks, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.03, Fletcher Building was up .24, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up .03, F & P Healthcare was up a nickel, Infratil was up .03, Michael Hill International was unchanged, SkyCity Entertainment was up .04, Telecom Corp of NZ was down two cents and Vector was unchanged.

Among the dual-listed stocks, Telstra was up .02, Westpac Bank was down .21, Lian Nathan was down one cent, Goodman FPO was down .03, APN News & Media was up .05, Australia and NZ Bank was down .13 and AMP was up .06.

Unlike New Zealand, Australia's market was unable to sustain its rally Thursday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 4.4 points or 0.1 percent at 4,064.1 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 3.7 points or 0.1 percent at 4,072.8. Both indices had advanced in the previous eight sessions.

Market turnover was 2.4 billion shares valued at A$6.24 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 601 to 411 with 297 unchanged.

The banking sector was a drag on the market, with Australia and NZ Bank falling A$0.13, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down .017, National Australia Bank completed a $2 billion capital raising and dropped $1.23 and Westpac Bank was down .21.

In the resources sector, BHP Billiton advanced .20, Rio Tinto gained $1.68, Fortescue Metals was up .11 and OZ Minerals was up .07.

Among the oil stocks, Woodside Petroleum was down .15, Santos was down .17 and Oil Search advanced .17.

For the retailers, Woolworths lost $1.03, Wesfarmers fell .26, Harvey Norman was up .09, JB Hi-Fi was unchanged and David Jones was up .13.

Overseas, U.S. stock markets resumed their rally after a one day dip. Better than expected data on new home sales boosted stocks as well. A half hour before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 203.29 points or 2.29 percent at 9,084.55, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 48.92 points or 2.54 percent at 1,975.30 and the S & P 500 Index was up 24.63 points or 2.58 percent at 978.70.

All of the major markets in the Asia/Pacific region except Taiwan's closed higher on Thursday.

The Nikkei 225 Average in Japan rose 69.78 points or 0.72 percent to finishing at 9,792.94.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 569.53 points or 2.96 percent to 19,817.70.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 31.88 points or 0.97 percent at 3.328.49.

The BSE 30 index in India advanced 387.92 points or 2.61 percent to 15,231.94.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was up 35.10 points or 1.65 percent at 2,160.72.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index advanced 2.45 points or 0.16 percent to 1,496.49.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 4.44 points or 0.06 percent at 6,980.88.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com