RTTNews - Mixed opens are expected Thursday for New Zealand and Australia stocks. Markets get a mixed lead from Wall Street, as U.S. stocks averages struggled to maintain their recent winning streaks after seeing mixed results from corporate earnings reports.

New Zealand's sharemarket gained more ground on Wednesday, boosted by higher earnings reported by casino operator SkyCity Entertainment.

The benchmark NZX 50 index closed with a gain of 27.3 points or 0.99 percent at 2,900.4.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 53.7 million shares valued at NZ$115.5 million.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 61 to 20 with 45 unchanged.

The list of most actively traded issues includes Auckland International Airport, which was up NZ$0.04, AMP NZ Office Trust was up a penny, Contact Energy was up .05, Fletcher Building was down .14, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up .05, F & P Healthcare was up a penny, Infratil was up one cent, NZ Farming Systems was up one cent, Ryman Healthcare was up .04, SkyCity Entertainment rose .11, Sky Network TV was unchanged, Telecom Corp of NZ was up .06 and Vector was down a penny.

For the dual-listed stocks, Westpac Bank was down .49, Telstra was up .03, Lion Nathan was unchanged, Goodman FPO was up 6.5 cents, APN News & Media was up 8.5 cents, AMP was up .06 and Australia and NZ Bank was up .13.

In Australia, the sharemarket posted its 7th straight gain. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index advanced 17.8 points or 0.4 percent at 4,068.5 while the broader All Ordinaries Index was up 20.6 points or 0.5 percent at 4,068.9.

Trading volume was 2.13 billion shares valued at A$4.41 billion.

Advancers outpaced decliners 547 to 451 with 344 unchanged.

In the resources sector, miner BHP Billiton was up A$0.71 after reporting solid production for the year, despite weakening global demand and lower than expected iron ore production. Rival Rio Tinto was up .89.

Among the junior miners, Fortescue Metals was up .09 and OZ Minerals was up .06.

For the gold stocks, Newcrest Mining was down .57, Newmont gained .03 and Lihir Gold was down a nickel.

In the banking sector, National Australia Bank was placed in a trading halt after announcing plans to raise A$2.75 billion in capital to maintain its balance sheet. Among the others, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down .65, Australia and NZ Bank was up .13 and Westpac Bank was down .49.

Among the retailers, Woolworths, which reported a 7.5 percent rise in full year sales, was down .12, Wesfarmers was up .48, Harvey Norman was down .08 and David Jones was up .19.

Stocks on Wall Street were mixed heading toward Wednesday's close. About 45 minutes before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 31.28 points or 0.35 percent at 8,884.66, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 7.13 points or 0.37 percent at 1,923.33 and the Standard and Poor's 500 Index was down 0.43 points or 0.05 percent at 954.15.

Asia/Pacific markets were mixed on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average was up 71.14 points or 0.74 percent to close at 9,723.16.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 253.56 points or 1.30 percent at 19,248.17.

China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 83.41 points or 2.60 percent at 3,296.61.

In India, the BSE 30 index closed down 219.37 points or 1.46 percent at 14,843.12.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index fell 20.94 points or 0.98 percent to 2,125.61.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index gained 5.05 points or 0.34 percent to 1,494.04.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 31.98 points or 0.46 percent to 6,985.32.

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