RTTNews - New Zealand share market opened marginally higher on Friday, despite a negative overnight lead from the Wall Street where major U.S. averages closed lower after some traders went profit taking ahead of the crucial monthly employment report.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 4.57 points or 0.15% to 3,060.72 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index added 8.25 points or 0.27% to 3,109.54.

New Zealand's market advance paused on Thursday in advance of an earnings reporting period. Traders also considered government data showing the nation's jobless rate jumped a full percent to 6.0 percent in Q2. The benchmark NZX-50 index declined for a second straight session, falling 27.9 points or 0.9 percent to close at 3.056.1.

Overseas, U.S. stocks surrendered early gains and posted moderate losses on Thursday, as traders did some profit taking ahead of key employment data on tap for tomorrow. The major averages all finished in negative territory, further offsetting recent gains.

Initial upside in the equity markets came after a report from the Labor Department showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits came in lower than expected in the week ended August 1st, offsetting some of the recent concerns about the outlook for the labor market.

The report showed that initial jobless claims fell to 550,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 588,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to edge down to 580,000 from the 584,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Nonetheless, buying interest waned not long after the open, and the major averages pulled back into negative territory. The downturn came as traders cashed in on recent gains ahead of Friday's monthly employment report.

On the earnings front, traders reacted to a mixed bag of quarterly results from Cisco Systems (CSCO), Sunoco (SUN), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), News Corp. (NWS), DirecTV Group (DTV), among others, as earnings season winds to a close.

During the earnings season, a majority of companies were able to beat bottom line estimates via cost cutting measures, but most fell short of revenue estimates as the recession dampened product and service demand in the calendar second quarter.

Traders also looked to a slew of monthly sales results from retailers such as Target (TGT), Walgreen Co. (WAG), BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ), JC Penney (JCP) and Saks (SKS).

The major U.S. averages experienced choppy trading heading into the close, seeing little change after moving off of their worst levels of the day in mid-afternoon trading. The Dow closed down by 24.71 points or 0.3 percent at 9,256.26, the Nasdaq slipped by 19.89 points or 1 percent to 1,973.16, and the S&P 500 fell by 5.64 points or 0.6 percent to 997.08.

Crude oil prices finished little-changed on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as a stronger-than expected employment report offset a stronger dollar and a report that Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC isn't likely to cut production next month. Light sweet crude oil settled at $71.94 per barrel, down 3 cents on the session. Earlier, oil had dropped below the $71 mark.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US67.07c by about 8 am on Friday, after touching a low of around US66.85c during the night. In comparison, the kiwi was buying US67.12c at 5pm on Thursday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom added 1.09%, as second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, collected 0.62%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson slipped 0.36%, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged, as dropped 0.99%. Among energy stocks, TrustPower inched up by 0.13%, as Vector collected 0.49%.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged on Friday morning.

Among other notable stocks Infratil fell 0.55%, Methven gave up 0.68%, Mainfreight slipped 0.42%, Nuplex advanced 0.50%, Sky City added 0.31%, Sky Network Television dropped 1.51% and Steel & Tube Holdings lost 0.92%. While Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare added 0.62%.

The other losers on Friday morning included-- Auckland International Airport by 0.57%, Guinness Peat Group by 4.91%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 91% and Property For Industry by 0.91%.

The major gainers among the shares listed under the NZX 50 index in the day's early trading included-- AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.28%, Freightways by 0.31%, and ING Property Trust by 1.39%.

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