RTTNews - Weak opens are expected Wednesday for the New Zealand and Australia sharemarkets, following sharp losses overnight on Wall Street. U.S. investors traded with trepidation in advance of earnings report season.

In New Zealand Tuesday, the market advanced slightly in another day of light trading.

The benchmark NZX-50 index gained 3.3 points or 0.1 percent to finish at 2,746.24.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange posted trading volume of 27.4 million shares valued at NZ$68.2 million.

Among the session's most actively traded stocks, Auckland International Airport closed up NZ$0.02, AMP New Zealand Office Trust was unchanged, Fletcher Building was down .06, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up a penny, F & P Healthcare was down one cent, Infratil was down .02, Kiwi Income Properties was up one cent and Telecom Corp of NZ was up .03.

For the Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks, Telstra was up .03, Westpac Bank was up .02, Goodman was down .02, Lion Nathan was up one cent, AMP was down .07, Australia and NZ Bank was down .08 and APN News & Media was up a half-cent.

Across the Tasman, Australia's sharemarket finished lower, with falling commodities prices dragging down the key resources sector. Traders also learned that the Reserve Bank of Australia would keep its key interest rate unchanged for a third straight month at 3.00 percent

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 16.8 points or 0.44 percent to close at 3,766.9 while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 16.4 points or 0.4 percent at 3,767.8.

Trading volume was 1.63 billion shares valued at A$3.57 billion.

There were 409 stocks closing higher, 559 were lower and 296 unchanged.

The mining companies were hurt by falling commodities prices. Among the major players, BHP Billiton was down A$0.37, Rio Tinto was down $1.15 and OZ Minerals was down a penny. Fortescue Metals managed a gain of seven cents.
For the energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum was down .38, Oil Search was down .03, Origin Energy .02 and Santos was down .33.

Among the gold stocks, Newcrest Mining was down .61, Newmont Mining was down .06, Lihir Gold was up .02 and Sino Gold, a new addition to the ASX, gained .27.

In the banking sector, Australia and NZ Banking Group was down .08, Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed .06, National Australia Bank declined .16 and Westpac Bank was up two cents.

Among the retailers, Woolworths was down .04, Wesfarmers was up .24, David Jones was up .04, JB Hi-Fi gained .12 and Harvey Norman was up .03.

In overseas trading, U.S. traders sent Wall Street into a tail spin on Tuesday, with earnings reports from the nation's top companies due for release starting the following day. About 20 minutes before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 136.03 points or 1.63 percent at 8,188.84, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 33.34 points or 1.87 percent at 1,754.06 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 14.69 points or 1.63 percent at 884.03.

The major markets in the Asia/Pacific region finished mixed in Tuesday's trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average closed down 33.08 points or 0.34 percent at 9,647.79.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 117.14 points or 0.65 percent at 17,862.27.

The Shanghai Composite index in China fell 35.22 points or 1.13 percent to 3,089.45.

In India, the BSE 30 index was up 127.05 points or 0.90 percent at 14,170.45.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was up 48.24 points or 2.37 percent at 2,083.25.

The KOSPI/Seoul Composite index in South Korea advanced 5.26 points or 0.37 percent to 1,434.20.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 65.31 points or 0.98 percent at 6,715.22.

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