New Zealand stock market opened marginally lower on Thursday, despite a positive overnight lead from the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed the day's see-saw session higher after the Federal Reserve released March meeting minutes that showed growing downside risks to the economy and the efforts being taken to improve it.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 5.06 points or 0.20% to 2,563.84 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index slipped 4.42 points or 0.17% to 2,617.29.

New Zealand's share market declined for a second straight session on Wednesday, with the benchmark NZX-50 index falling 43.57 points or 1.67 percent to close at 2,568.9.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 61.2 million shares valued at NZ$124.7 million. Declining stocks outnumbered advancers 54 to 20.

Overseas, U.S. stocks ultimately closed higher on Wednesday after suffering choppy trading for much of the day's session. The uncertainty seen for most of the day came as investors responded to a mix of positive and negative news from both the economic and corporate fronts.

All the major U.S. averages ended the day in positive territory, although off their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up 47.55 points or 0.6 percent at 7,837.11, the Nasdaq closed up 29.05 points or 1.9 percent at 1,590.66 and the S&P 500 closed up 9.61 points or 1.2 percent at 825.16.

Oil finished a volatile session slightly higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday as Energy Information Administration data revealed a weekly inventory build was less than the expectations of analysts.

Light sweet crude oil ended at $49.40 per barrel, up 25 cents. Prices had dropped as low as $47.37 but later turned as high as $51.30 on the inventory data.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased 1.7 million barrels from the previous week. Economists were looking for a build in inventories of about 2.3 million barrels in the week ended April 3.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US57.77c by 8am on Thursday, compared to US57.30c at 5pm on Wednesday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Thursday, market leader Telecom dropped 0.84%, as second ranked Contact Energy slipped 0.54% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, added 0.17%.

In the retail sector Hallenstein Glasson and Warehouse remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International collected 1.89% and Pumpkin Patch lost 0.91%.

In the energy sector Vector gained 0.95%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Thursday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan and Telstra remained unchanged, as Westpac Bank eased 0.20%.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil, Methven and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged, as Mainfreight collected 1.01%, Nuplex plunged 3.33%, Sky City slipped 0.36% and Sky Network Television advanced 1.04%. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gave up 1.34%, as Fisher & Paykel Appliances dropped 2.33%.

Other major gainers in the day's early trading included- Cavalier Corporation by 0.54%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.54%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.73% and Ryman Healthcare Limited by 0.71%.

Major losers on Thursday morning were - AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.19%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.27%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.10% and Property For Industry Limited by 1.79%.

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