RTTNews - Mixed opens are forecast Thursday for New Zealand and Australia stocks. Markets get a lack-luster lead from Wall Street, where stocks stayed near the break-even mark for much of the session.

The New Zealand sharemarket pushed higher on Wednesday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index gained 10.4 points or 0.3 percent to close at 3,090.9.

Trading volume was reported by the NZ Stock Exchange at 45.4 million shares valued at NZ$88.2 million.

There were 38 stocks closing higher, 40 were lower and 37 unchanged.

Among the session's most heavily traded issues, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.01, AMP NZ Office Trust was up .02, Contact Energy advanced .13, Fletcher Building was u unchanged, Fisher & Pykel Appliances was down .01, Goodman Property Trust was up .02, Kiwi Income Property Trust was up a penny, NZ Oil & Gas was down one cent, Pike River Coal was down a nickel and Telecom Corp of NZ was up a penny.

For the Australia-NZ dual-listed issues, Telstra was up .04, Westpac Bank was up .24, Australia and NZ Banking Group was up .17 and AMP was up .15.

In Australia, markets posted a solid gain.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 48.7 points or 1.1 percent at 4,454.5 while the broader All Ordinaries index advanced 46.9 points or 1.06 percent to 4,464.4.

Trading volume totaled 3.33 billion shares valued at A$5.96 billion.

Advancing issues outpaced decliners 650 to 439 with 320 unchanged.

Among the resources leaders, BHP Billiton was up .35 while rival Rio Tinto gained .54, Fortescue Metals was up .02 and OZ Minerals was up .03.

For the gold miners, Lihir Gold was up .20 after reporting a first half loss but steady full-year guidance. Newcrest Mining was up .20.

In the coal sector, Macarthur coal was up .21 after reporting a rise in annual profit and providing optimistic guidance. Centennial Coal was unchanged and Felix Resources was up .12.

Among the big four banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group was up .17, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up .31, National Australia Bank was up .10 and Westpac Bank was up .24.

Overseas, U.S. markets wavered above and below the break-even line, with reports showing increases in factory orders and home sales unable to inspire traders. About 15 minutes before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.85 points or 0.09 percent at 9,530.44, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 10.3 points or 0.05 percent at 2,023.20 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 1.19 points or 0.12 percent at 1.026.81.

Most other major markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed higher on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average was up 142.35 points or 1.36 percent at 19,639.71.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 21.08 points or 0.10 percent to 20,456.32.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 51.79 points or 1.78 percent at 2,967.59.

The BSE 30 index in India advanced 81.38 points or 0.52 percent to 15,769.85.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 0.43 points or 0.02 percent at 2,380.09.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index advanced 12.74 points or 0.80 percent to 1,614.12.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 90.20 points or 1.32 percent at 6,719.21.

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