The New Zealand share market opened slightly lower on Tuesday after receiving a negative overnight lead from Wall Street, where the major U.S. averages closed lower on profit taking.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 10.86 points or 0.38% to 2,818.35 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index lost 10.01 points or 0.35% to 2,879.46.
New Zealand shares moved broadly lower on Monday after climbing to a more than six-month high in the morning. The market pared its gains after the opening of the Australian market.
The benchmark NZX 50 Index lost 43.92 points or 1.53% to close at 2829.22 and the broader NZX All Capital Index declined 33.32 points or 1.14% to settle at 2889.48. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 57.7 million shares valued at NZ$92.1. There were 38 stocks closing higher, 36 lower and 45 were unchanged.
Overseas, U.S. stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Monday after turning in a strong performance last week. The major averages all closed firmly in negative territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a relatively modest loss.
The weakness in the markets was largely due to profit taking, with traders cashing in on the market's recent gains amid a lack of economic data and limited corporate news.
Uncertainty about the outlook for the markets inspired some of the profit taking, with some traders questioning whether stocks can extend their recent upward move amid expectations of a lack of significant catalysts in the near future.
In other news, President Barack Obama spoke earlier in the day, saying that a meeting with leading health care groups resulted in a pledge to reduce health care costs by $2 trillion over the next decade.
The president said that the groups have voluntarily come together to make an unprecedented commitment to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year over the next ten years. Obama also urged Congress to work to reform health care by the end of the year, stressing that reform went beyond reducing costs.
While the major averages all finished the day in the red, the Nasdaq closed down only 7.76 points or 0.5 percent at 1,731.24. Meanwhile, the Dow fell 155.88 points or 1.8 percent to 8,418.77 and the S&P 500 closed down 19.99 points or 2.2 percent at 909.24.
Crude oil finished slightly lower on the NYMEX after rising to a six-month high last week. Crude oil for June delivery settled at $58.50 per barrel, down 13 cents on the day. Prices touched as low as $56.78 earlier in the session.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US60.26c by 8am on Tuesday, compared to US59.36c at 5pm on Monday. During the night, the kiwi has touched a five-month high of US60.50c against the U.S. dollar.
In the economic news for Tuesday, Statistics New Zealand releases its data on price of food and food services in New Zealand for the month of April at 22:45 GMT.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom and second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged, as Fletcher Building, the third best stock, slipped 0.15%.
In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson fell 0.37%, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged.
In the energy sector, Vector gave up 1.76%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Tuesday morning.
Among the dual listed issues, APN News & Media and Lion Nathan remained unchanged, as AMP dropped 0.76%, Australia and NZ Banking Corp eased 0.33%, Telstra gave up 0.49% and Westpac Bank slumped 1.76%.
Among other notable stocks, Infratil gave up 0.58%, Mainfreight eased 0.20%, Nuplex dropped 2.50%, Sky City fell 2.04% and Steel & Tube Holdings slipped 1.69%, as Methven and Sky Network Television remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances plummeted 4.48%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dipped 0.95%.
The other major losers in the early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 0.60%, AMP NZ Office Trust by 2.50%, Freightways by 1.30%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.06%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 1.31%, PGG Wrightson by 3.45%, Port of Tauranga by 1.34%, Pike River Coal by 6.60%, Rakon by 1.84% and Tower by 1.76%.
The gainers among the stocks listed under the NZX 50 index were few on Tuesday morning and included- Guinness Peat Group by 1.32%, Property For Industry Limited by 1.80% and Ryman Healthcare Limited by 1.19%.
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