RTTNews - Mixed opens are expected Wednesday for the New Zealand and Australia stock markets. U.S. stocks provided a weak positive lead.

New Zealand's market posted a modest gain on Tuesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 5.8 points or 0.2 percent to 2,822.40.

Trading volume was listed by the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 45.99 million shares valued at NZ$71.1 million.

Among the day's most heavily traded stocks, Auckland International Airport was down NZ$0.02, AMP NZ was down a penny, Contact Energy was down .04, Fletcher Building dropped .07, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down one cent, Guinness Peat rose a penny, Kiwi Income Properties fell a nickel, Nuplex lost a penny, SkyCity Entertainment rose .04 and Telecom Corp of NZ was up .05.

Across the Tasman, Australia's sharemarket posted a modest loss, led by weakness in the resources sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Average dropped 36.3 points or 0.91 percent to 3,934.9 while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 35.4 points or 0.89 percent to 3,933.6.

Trading volume totaled 2.36 billion shares valued at A$5.86 billion.

There were 477 stocks closing higher, 610 lower and 336 were unchanged.

In the resources sector, mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton backed off the highs reached in the previous session. Rio shares were down A$1.88 while BHP declined $1.68. Among the smaller miners, Fortescue Metals was down .07, OZ Minerals was up two cents and Murchison Metals fell three cents.

The gold stocks were lower, with Newcrest Mining down $1.09, Lihir Gold was down .12 and Gindalbie Metals declined .02.

Among the big banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group was up .11, Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained .48 and Westpac was up .12, while National Australia Bank lost .25.

The retail sector was mixed, with Woolworths down .11, Wesfarmers was up .11, David Jones was unchanged, JB Hi-Fi was up .69 and Harvey Norman was down a nickel.

Shares of telecom giant Telstra were the session's most heavily traded. Telstra was up .04 at the close on volume of more than 53 million shares changing hands.

Overseas, news that 10 major U.S. banks had been approved to repay their TARP funding did little to move the market, which appeared headed toward a modest gain.

About 15 minutes before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 16.63 points or 0.19 percent at 8,781.12, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 21.39 points or 1.16 percent at 1,863.79 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was higher by 5.46 points or 0.58 percent at 944.60.

Markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed mixed on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average declined 78.81 points or 0.80 percent to finish at 9,786.82.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong declined 194.90 points or 1.07 percent to 18,958.49,

China's Shanghai Composite index gained 19.55 points or 0.71 percent to 2,787.89.

In India, the BSE 30 index advanced 461.08 points or 3.14 percent to 15,127.00.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was down 21.46 points or 1.54 percent at 1,371.84.

The Taiwan Weighted Index fell 213.63 points or 3.22 percent to 6,414.39.

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