RTTNews - Weak to mixed opens are expected Friday for the New Zealand and Australia sharemarkets, followed a mixed session on Wall Street and broadly lower prices for commodities.

New Zealand's market advance paused on Thursday in advance of an earnings reporting period. Traders also considered government data showing the nation's jobless rate jumped a full percent to 6.0 percent in Q2.

The benchmark NZX-50 index declined for a second straight session, falling 27.9 points or 0.9 percent to close at 3.056.1.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 43.3 million shares valued at NZ$83.1 million.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancers 50 to 37 with 44 unchanged.

Among the session's most heavily traded issues, AMP NZ Office Trust was unchanged, Fletcher Building was down NZ$0.10, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down a penny, Goodman Property Trust was down one cent, Kiwi Income Property Trust was flat, Pike River Coal was down two cents, SkyCity Entertainment was down a nickel and Telecom Corp of NZ was down .10.

For the Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks, Telstra was up .01, Westpac Bank was up .86, Lion Nathan was up .03, AMP was up .03, APN News & Media was unchanged and Australia and NZ Bank was up .24.

In Australia, strength in the financial and resources sectors sent the market to a solid gain.

Traders also saw government data showing the nation's jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent. The number of Australians working increased, but the number holding full time jobs declined by 16,000.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 58.2 points or 1.4 percent to 4.322.7 while the broader All ordinaries index was p 61.8 points or 1.4 percent at 4.326.3.

Turnover volume was 2.15 billion shares valued at A$5.12 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 540 to 475 with 341 closing unchanged.

The big banks were all higher, with Australia and NZ Banking Group up A$0.24, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up $1.12, National Australia Bank gained .32 and Westpac Bank was up .88 or nearly 4 percent.

In the resources sector, mining giant BHP Billiton was up .64 while rival Rio Tinto rose $1.13, Fortescue Metals was up .19 and OZ Minerals was unchanged.

Among the gold stocks, Newcrest Mining was down .32, Lihir Gold declined .06 and Newmont Mining was up a penny.

In the retail sector, Woolworths was down .12, Wesfarmers declined .13, Harvey Norman was up .04 and David Jones was up .13.

Overseas, U.S. stocks appeared headed toward a lower close on Thursday, having opened higher on positive employment news but turned lower after disappointing earnings from Cisco. About 15 minutes before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.49 points or 0.17 percent at 9,265.48, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 16.53 points or 0.83 percent at 1,976.52 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was lower by 5.72 points or 0.57 percent at 997.00.

Other Asia/Pacific region markets were mixed on Thursday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average gained 135.56 points or 1.32 percent to close at 10,388.09.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 404.47 points or 1.97 percent at 20,899.24.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index declined 72,17 points or 2.11 percent at 3,356.33.

India's BSE 30 index dropped 389.80 points or 2.45 percent to 15,514.03.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia was up 42.91 points or 1.85 percent at 2.359.98.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index rose 5.57 points or 0.36 percent to 1,565.04.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 20.41 points or 6,868.65.

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