RTTNews - The New Zealand share market opened moderately weaker on Wednesday after receiving a mixed overnight lead from Wall Street, which put in a weak performance after seeing worse-than-expected consumer confidence data.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 9.99 points or 0.33% to 3,008.48 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index fell 8.94 points or 0.29% to 3,065.76.

New Zealand's market rally continued on Tuesday, with the benchmark index rising for an 11th straight session. The NZX-50 index gained 20.46 points or 0.68 percent to close at 3,018.47. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 52.6 million shares valued at NZ$82.4 million.

Overseas, U.S. stocks closed Tuesday's session on a mixed note in reaction to the day's varied earnings and economic reports. The major U.S. averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged mark, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a modest gain.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated by more than expected in the month of July, according to a report released by the Conference Board this morning. The decrease reflected less favorable assessments of both current conditions and the near-term outlook.

The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index fell to 46.6 in July from an unrevised 49.3 in June. Economists had been expecting a much more modest decline by the index to a reading of about 49.0.

Earlier, Standard and Poor's released a separate report showing that although U.S. home prices continued to decline at a significant annual rate in the month of May, the pace of decline in prices slowed for the fourth consecutive month.

The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell at an annual rate of 17.1 percent in May compared to the 18.1 percent decrease reported for April. Economists had expected the report to show that prices fell 17.9 percent year-over-year.

In earnings news, Valero Energy (VLO), Amgen (AMGN) and Manitowoc (MTW) reported earnings that beat analyst estimates. On the other hand, Office Depot (ODP) fell well short of analyst forecasts.

The major U.S. averages saw further choppy movement to close out another low volume session. While the Nasdaq closed up by 7.62 points or 0.4 percent at 1,975.51, the Dow fell by 11.79 points or 0.1 percent to 9,096.72 and the S&P 500 slipped by 2.56 points or 0.3 percent to 979.62.

Crude oil finished lower on Tuesday, surrendering some of the recent rally, on demand concerns. Investors awaited the Energy Information Administration inventory report tomorrow. Light sweet crude for August delivery dropped to $67.23, down $1.15 on the session. Prices touched as low as $66.48 after reaching as high as $68.99 yesterday.

In the economic news for Wednesday, Business New Zealand releases its report on the number of new building projects authorized for construction New Zealand for the month of June at 22:45 PM GMT Tuesday, and the measure of New Zealand business confidence for the month of July at 03:00 AM GMT Wednesday.

Also, Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to announce its decision to change or maintain New Zealand 's Official Cash Rate at 21:00 PM GMT Wednesday.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US65.90c at 8am on Wednesday, when compared to US65.91c at 5pm on Tuesday. During the night, the kiwi had peaked at a10-month high of US66.33c.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Wednesday, market leader Telecom dropped 0.35%, as second ranked Contact Energy declined 0.79% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, eased 0.55%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Warehouse remained unchanged, as Pumpkin Patch gave up 1.87%. Among energy stocks, TrustPower and Vector remained unchanged.

Among 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 Infratil gave up 0.56%, Mainfreight advanced 0.90%, Methven surged 1.53%, Nuplex plummeted 2.67%, Sky City declined 0.62%, Sky Network Television eased 0.45% and Steel & Tube Holdings gained 1.67%. While Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 0.63%.

The other major losers on Wednesday morning included-- Auckland International Airport by 1.73%, Freightways by 0.32%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 1.85%, Property For Industry by 0.85%, Rakon by 0.70%, Tourism Holdings by 2.00% and Tower by 1.63%.

The gainers in the day's early trading included-- Air New Zealand by 1.92%, AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.30%, Ebos Group by 0.38%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.02%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.82%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 0.85% and NZ Farming Systems by 6.67%.

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