RTTNews - Mixed opens are expected Wednesday for the New Zealand and Australia stock markets, coming off a lukewarm lead from Wall Street. U.S. stocks were mixed, following testimony to Congress by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 52.3 points or 1.82 percent to 2,873.2.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 47.7 million shares valued at NZ$94.3 million.

Among the day's most actively traded issues, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.02, AMP NZ Office Trust was up a penny, Fletcher Building was up .22, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up one cent, Goodman Property Trust was up a penny, Kiwi Income Properties advanced one cent, SkyCity Entertainment Group was up .09 or 6.6 percent, Telecom Corp of NZ was up .04 and Vector was unchanged.

Among the dual-listed stocks, Telstra was down .06, Westpac Bank was up .07, Lion Nathan was up .02, Goodman was unchanged, APN News & Media was up .04, AMP was up two cents and Australia and NZ Bank was up a dime.

In Australia, the sharemarket closed largely unchanged.

The benchmark S^P/ASX200 Index advanced 0.4 points or 0.01 percent to 4,050.7 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 4.1 points or 0.1 percent to 4,048.3.

Turnover was 1.91 billion shares valued at A$4.14 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 577 to 435 with 337 unchanged.

The banking sector was mixed. Australia and NZ Bank was down A$0.10, Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropped .15, National Australia Bank was down .30 but Westpac Bank rose .07 and investment bank Macquarie Group advanced .60.

In the resources sector, mining leader BHP Billiton advanced .19, Rio Tinto was up $.52, Fortescue Metals was down .07 and OZ Minerals declined a half-cent.

Among the gold stocks, Newcrest Mining was down .28, Newmont Mining was up a nickel and Lihir Gold was up a penny.

Among the retailers, Woolworths rang up a gain of 11 cents, Wesfarmers was up .08, JB Hi-Fi was up .21, Harvey Norman declined .21 and David Jones was down .12.

Overseas, U.S. stocks were mixed, following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's opening day of testimony to Congress on the state of the American economy. Bernanke said the economy was showing signs of stabilization, but that unemployment was expected to remain high through the end of the year.

About 40 minutes before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 33.94 points or 0.38 percent at 8,882.09 but the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.93 points or 0.10 percent at 1,907 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.79 points or 0.08 percent at 950.34.

Markets in the Asia/Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average closed higher by 256.70 points or 2.73 percent at 9,652.02.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.64 points or 0.00 percent at 19,501.73.

China's Shanghai Composite index was down 53.71 points or 1.64 percent at 3,213.21.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index was up 40.20 points or 1.91 percent at 2,146.55.

India's BSE 30 index was down 128.52 points or 0.85 percent at 15,062.49.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was up 10.48 points or 0.71 percent at 1,488.99.

The Taiwan Weighted Index advanced 14.48 points or 0.21 percent to 6,953.34.

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