RTTNews - The New Zealand stock market opened marginally higher on Wednesday, following the modest gains made overnight on the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed slightly higher after better-than-expected corporate profits negated concerns about weak consumer demand.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 1.95 points or 0.07% to 2,750.45 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index added 0.99 points or 0.04% to 2,823.10.

The New Zealand share market joined the global rise to higher ground on Tuesday, following up on the strong lead from Wall Street. The benchmark NZX-50 Index gained 11.6 points or 0.4 percent to close at 2,748.5. The New Zealand Stock Exchange listed trading volume of 25.5 million shares valued at NZ$67.0 million.

Overseas, U.S. stocks were unable to sustain any clear direction for the majority of the Tuesday's session following an influx of earnings and economic figures, but some late buying interest helped the markets to a positive finish. The major averages all finished in the green by moderate margins, extending their gains for a second straight session.

On the economic front, a report released by the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that retail sales increased by a little more than expected in the month of June, although the sales growth was due in large part to higher gasoline prices.

The report showed that retail sales rose 0.6 percent in June following an unrevised 0.5 percent increase in May. Economists had been expecting retail sales to increase by a somewhat more modest 0.4 percent.

In a separate report, the U.S. Labor Department revealed that producer prices, a key measure of wholesale inflation, rose 1.8 percent in June. This followed a 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Core producer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, climbed 0.5 percent.

On the earnings front, traders largely shrugged off better than expected earnings from Goldman Sachs (GS), with some suggesting that the news was already priced in following the rally among financial stocks that was seen on Monday. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also beat earnings expectations but saw subdued reaction amid the day's low trading volume.

The major U.S. averages saw modest upside in late day trading and were able to creep into positive territory. The Dow closed up by 27.81 points or 0.3 percent at 8,359.49, the Nasdaq advanced by 6.52 points or 0.4 percent to 1,799.73 and the S&P 500 rose by 4.79 or 0.5 percent to 905.84

Crude oil finished lower for the ninth time in ten sessions and below $60 for a third day in a row on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. Light sweet crude for August delivery fell to $59.52 per barrel, down 17 cents on the session. Prices touched as high as $61.46 earlier in the session but later hit as low as $59.15.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US63.52c at about 8am on Wednesday, compared to US63.36c at 5pm on Tuesday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Wednesday, market leader Telecom gained 0.38%, as second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, added 0.30%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson added 0.78% and Warehouse collected 0.27%, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Pumpkin Patch remained unchanged. Among energy stocks, Vector and TrustPower remained unchanged.

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

Among other notable stocks, Methven, Sky City and Sky Network Television remained unchanged, as Infratil gained 0.59%, Mainfreight advanced 0.74%, Nuplex surged 1.31%, Rakon by 0.69% and Steel & Tube Holdings slipped 0.69%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 0.71%.

The losers in the day's early trading included-- Ebos Group by 0.96%, Freightways by 0.71%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.09%, Guinness Peat Group by 5.05%, ING Property Trust by 1.52%, PGG Wrightson by 1.89%, Ryman Healthcare by 0.63% and Tourism Holdings by 2.13%.

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