RTTNews - Mixed opens are expected for the New Zealand and Australia markets on Thursday. Traders got mixed signals from Wall Street, with U.S. stocks little changed.

New Zealand's sharemarket finished lower on Wednesday, but recovered from some of its early losses.

The benchmark NZX-50 index declined 10.0 points or 0.3 percent to 3,074.6.

Trading volume was reported by the NZ Stock Exchange at 43 million shares valued at NZ$85.9 million.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 75 to 15 with 32 unchanged.

Among the session's most actively traded stocks, Auckland International Airport was unchanged, Fletcher Building was down NZ$0.16, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down .04, Goodman Property Trust was unchanged, Kiwi Income Property Trust was down a penny, NZ Farming Systems was up a nickel, PGG Wrightson was down .03, SkyCIty Entertainment was up a dime and Telecom Corp of NZ was up four cents.

Among the Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks, Telstra was down a penny, Westpac Bank was down .58, AMP was down .16 and Australia and NZ Bank was down .82.

Across the Tasman, Australia's market closed lower, with the financial sector leading the way down.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 76.4 points or 1.69 percent to 4,438.2 while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 74.7 points or 1.86 percent at 4,436.6.

Trading volume was 2.61 billion shares valued at A$6.12 billion.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 717 to 345 with 306 unchanged.

The financial sector was broadly lower. Among the banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group was down A$0.82 or 3.7 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down .80 or 1.7 percent, National Australia Bank was down .89 or 3 percent and Westpac Bank was down .58 or 2.3 percent.

Investment bank Macquarie Group was down $1.72.

The resources sector was also lower. BHP Billiton was down .65, rival Rio Tinto was down $1.26, Fortescue Metals was down .15 and OZ Minerals was down .04.

Falling crude oil prices helped push the energy sector lower. Among the leaders, Woodside Petroleum was down $1.30, Oil Search fell .22 and Santos was down .34.

In the retail sector, Woolworths was up a nickel, Wesfarmers was down a nickel, David Jones fell .22, JB Hi-Fi was up a nickel and Harvey Norman rose a penny.

Overseas, U.S. stocks wavered not far from the break-even line for most of Wednesday's session. With a half hour to go before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.11 points or 0.02 percent at 9,312.71, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 5.60 points or 0.28 percent at 1,974.49 and the S & P 500 index was up 0.48 points or 0.05 percent at 998.52.

In other Asia/Pacific region trading on Wednesday, Japan's Nikkei 225 Average declined 249.60 points or 2.37 percent to 10,280.46.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 350.30 points or 1.76 percent to close at 19,522.00.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 31.25 points or 1.16 percent at 2,714.97.

The BSE 30 index in Indonesia was down 83.73 points or 0.54 percent at 15,467.46.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 40.99 points or 1.76 percent at 2,285.93.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was down 9.90 points or 0.61 percent at 1,613.16.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 20.02 points or 0.29 percent at 7,039.77.

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