New Zealand's stock market opened marginally higher on Tuesday despite the negative overnight lead from the Wall Street, where U.S. stocks closed over on concerns about the impact of the swine flu outbreak on the American economy.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 9.68 points or 0.36% to 2,674.05 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 11.02 points or 0.41% to 2,718.34.
The New Zealand and Australian markets moved slightly higher on Monday, as trading was cautious as the markets tried to assess the potential consequences of the swine flu outbreak.
In New Zealand, the benchmark NZX-50 index posted a gain of 7.99 points or 0.3 percent to close at 2,664.37. Trading volume was listed by the NZ Stock Exchange at 42.27 million shares valued at NZ$74 million.
Overseas, U.S. stocks closed well below the unchanged line on Monday after seeing some uncertainty throughout the day's trading session. The lower close came as traders expressed concerns about the economic impact of the swine flu outbreak.
The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the U.S. reached 40, although the reported cases still remain relatively mild and do not appear to be life threatening. The Center for Disease Control addressed the situation Monday in a press conference, urging Americans to postpone unnecessary travel plans to Mexico.
The major averages all ended the day firmly in negative territory, although well off their lows for the session. The Dow closed down 51.29 points or 0.6 percent at 8,025.00, the Nasdaq closed down 14.88 points or 0.9 percent at 1,679.41 and the S&P 500 closed down 8.72 points or 1.0 percent at 857.51.
Crude oil prices plunged nearly 3% on Monday amid worries the swine flu outbreak could hinder the economy's recovery. Light sweet crude for June delivery dropped to $50.14, down $1.41 on the session. Prices hit as low as $48.01 earlier in the morning.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US56.72c by 8am on Tuesday, when compared to US56.43c at 5pm on Monday.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom surged 2.66% after the company released its proposals for implementing the Government's $1.5 billion ultra-fast broadband plan.
Meanwhile, the second ranked Contact Energy eased 0.18% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, gave up 0.64%.
In the retail sector Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged.
In the energy sector, Vector fell 0.47%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Tuesday morning.
Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged.
Among other notable stocks, Infratil fell 0.65%, Mainfreight declined 0.23%, Sky City dropped 0.37% and Steel & Tube Holdings climbed 1.60%, as Methven, Nuplex and Sky Network Television remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances jumped 2.27%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained unchanged.
Major losers on Tuesday morning were - Auckland International Airport by 1.20%, Air New Zealand by 1.85%, Cavalier by 2.94%, Ebos by 1.05% and Property For Industry by 0.90%.
The gainers in the day's early trading included- AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.23%, Freightways by 0.37%, Goodman Property Trust 1.27%, ING Property Trust by 1.79%, NZX Limited by 0.74%, PGG Wrightson by 0.80% and Tower by 0.76%.
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