RTTNews - The New Zealand share market opened flat on Friday, despite overnight gains on Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on better than expected economic data.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 1.76% points or 0.06% to 2,796.47 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index added 3.52 points or 0.12% to 2,863.25.

While the rest of the Asia/Pacific region moved lower, the New Zealand market managed a gain on Thursday. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 20.2 points or 0.7 percent at 2,798.24. Turnover volume was reported by the NZ Stock Exchange at 60.35 million shares valued at NZ$153 million. Declining issues outnumbered advancers 47 to 39 with 26 unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks finished largely on the upside on Thursday after trading in a range for most of the session. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed nearly flat, the Dow and the S&P 500 posted notable gains as traders reacted to some encouraging economic data.

Some buying interest was generated by the release of a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showing that the pace of contraction in the mid-Atlantic region's manufacturing slowed by much more than economists had been anticipating.

Separately, a report from the Conference Board showed that its leading indicators index rose 1.2 percent in May following an upwardly revised 1.1 percent increase in April. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.0 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

While employment data from the Labor Department showed an increase in weekly jobless claims, some optimism was generated by a drop in continuing claims, which fell by 148,000 in the week ended June 6th to 6.687 million. This marked the first drop in continuing claims since the week ended January 3rd.

After closing lower in the three previous sessions, the Dow closed up 58.42 points or 0.7 percent at 8,555.60 and the S&P 500 closed up 7.66 points or 0.8 percent at 918.37. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq underperformed throughout the session and closed down 0.34 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 1,807.72.

Crude oil moved slightly higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as encouraging economic data boosted hopes of a speedier economic recovery. Light sweet crude settled at $71.37, up 34 cents on the session. Prices traded as high as $71.75 and as low as $70.22 in the choppy session.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US63.91c by 8am on Friday, compared to US63.02c at 5pm on Thursday. Earlier, the kiwi had touched a week-high around US64.40c during the night.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom lost 1.49%, as second ranked Contact Energy eased 0.52% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, collected 0.31%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International collected 1.47%.

In the energy sector, Vector and TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Friday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged in the day's early trading.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil advanced 1.16%, Mainfreight surged 1.47%, Nuplex added 1.24% and Sky City slipped o.36%, as Methven, Sky Network Television and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances gained 1.52%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advanced 0.34%.

The other gainers on Friday morning included New Zealand Refining Company and Sanford Limited. While the former collected 0.67% in Friday morning's trading, the latter added 0.55%.

The major losers in the day's early trading included- Ebos Group by 0.93%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.14%, Guinness Peat Group by 2.82%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.62%, Rakon by 1.27% and Ryman Healthcare by 0.62%.

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