Lower opens are expected Wednesday for the New Zealand and Australia sharemarkets, coming off a negative performance on Wall Street overnight.
New Zealand's sharemarket declined on Tuesday, wiping out the gains of the previous session. The benchmark NZX-50 index posted a loss of 20.97 points or 0.8 percent to finish at 2,612.47.
The New Zealand Stock Exchange listed trading volume at 52.5 million shares valued at NZ$110.8 million.
Among the session's most actively traded issues, Auckland International Airport was down a penny, AMP NZ Office Trust was down .02, Contact Energy dropped .01, Fletcher Building was down .05, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down .03, F & P Healthcare dropped .12, Guinness Peat was down a nickel, Infratil was up .03, Kiwi Income Properties dropped .02, Nuplex was down .02, SkyCity Entertainment was down .10, Telecom Corp of NZ rose .02, Telstra was up .25 and Westpac Bank gained .65.
Freightways shares were placed in a trading halt prior to the market open while the company completed a share placement to raid up to NZ$50 million in equity.
Across the Tasman, Australia's market declined after three days of advances, with the central bank announcing that interest rates would be cut to a near-50 year low.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 50.3 points or 1.34 percent to 3,706.3 while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 47.9 points or 1.3 percent to 3,648.5.
Market turnover was 1.87 million shares valued at A$4.71 billion.
There were 568 stocks closing lower, 410 higher and 273 unchanged.
During the session, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced its cash interest rate would be cut by a quarter points to 3.00 percent, as RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said Australia's economy was contracting, but at a lesser pace than other major trading nations.
Broadly lower commodities prices also pushed the resources sector lower. Among the big miners, BHP Billiton declined A$1.30 and rival Rio Tinto plunged $5.92 or more than 10 percent. Rio said it would cut more than 700 jobs and reduce its Queensland operations.
Fortescue Metals was down .11, Iluka Resources lost .42 or nearly 11 percent after announcing job cuts and OZ Minerals dropped .02. Aluminum refiner Alumina was down .12.
In the banking sector, Australia and NZ Bank was down .20, Bendigo and Adelaide was down .48, Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed .50, National Australia dropped .54 and Westpac was down .40.
Shares of Telstra climbed 14 cents after the Rudd government announced it would create a public-private sector entity to build a national broadband network. Rival Singapore Telecom was up .06.
Overseas, concerns about upcoming corporate earnings reports sent stocks on Wall Street lower on Tuesday. About a half hour before the market close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 169.7 points or 2.13 percent at 7,806.12, the Nasdaq Composite index was lower by 37.5 points or 2.33 percent at 1,569.2 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 16.5 points or 1.98 percent at 818.9.
Markets were mixed across the Asia/pacific region on Tuesday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average closed down 25.08 points or 0.28 percent to 8.832.85.
In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 19.4 points or 0.80 percent to close at 2,439.18.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 69.07 points or 0.46 percent to 14,928.97.
The BSE 30 index in India was up 186.05 points or 1.80 percent at 10.534.87.
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index fell 25.78 points or 1.70 percent to 1,490.85.
In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was up 2.25 points or 0.17 percent at 1,300.10.
The Taiwan Weighted Index rose 20.63 points or 0.37 percent to 5,576.85.
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