The New Zealand stock market opened marginally higher on Friday, taking cues from the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed mostly higher overnight after a late day rally.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 4.75 points or 0.18% to 2,663.60 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 7.00 points or 0.26% to 2,712.52.
New Zealand's share market closed slightly lower for a second straight session on Thursday. The benchmark NZX-50 index was down 4.09 points or 0.15 percent at 2,658.85.
The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 37 million shares valued at NZ$76.2 million. Declining stocks outnumbered advancers 46 to 24, with 32 unchanged.
Overseas, U.S. stocks ultimately ended the day mostly higher after showing considerable uncertainty throughout a great deal of Thursday's trading session. The uncertainty followed a combination of some mixed corporate news and some disappointing economic reports.
In economic news, Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 640,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 613,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 639,000 from the 610,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, a National Association of Realtors report showed that existing home sales fell 3.0 percent to an annual rate of 4.57 million units in March from a downwardly revised level of 4.71 million in February. With the monthly decrease, existing home sales were down 7.1 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
On the corporate front, Apple (AAPL) reported net income for the second quarter of $1.33 per share, compared to $1.16 per share for the year-ago quarter. Analysts' consensus estimates had called for Apple to earn $1.09 per share on revenue of $7.96 billion for the second quarter. The better than expected results were primarily due to strong iPhone sales.
Meanwhile, UPS (UPS) reported adjusted first quarter earnings of $0.52 per share, down from $0.87 per share last year and $0.04 below analyst estimates. Revenue also failed to meet analysts' target, falling nearly 14 percent to $10.94 billion.
The major U.S. averages moved higher going into the close after bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line for much of the session. The Dow closed up 70.49 points or 0.9 percent at 7,957.06, the Nasdaq closed up 6.09 points or 0.4 percent at 1,652.21 and the S&P 500 closed up 8.37 points or 1.0 percent at 851.92.
Crude oil moved higher again on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, challenging the key $50 per barrel mark. Light sweet crude oil for June delivery finished at $49.62, up 77 cents on the session. Prices rallied as high as $49.92 in the early going.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US56.09c by 8am on Friday, when compared to US55.73c at 5pm on Thursday.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom was up 0.38%, as second ranked Contact Energy gave up 0.89% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, added 1.14%.
In the retail sector Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Pumpkin Patch remained unchanged, as Warehouse fell 0.87%.
In the energy sector, Vector and TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Friday 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, Mainfreight, Nuplex, Sky City and Sky Network Television remained unchanged, as Methven surged 2.73% and Steel & Tube Holdings climbed 1.60%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare declined 0.33%.
Major losers on Friday morning were - AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.22%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.11% and New Zealand Refining Company by 0.14%.
The gainers in the day's early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 1.19%, Air New Zealand by 0.93%, Goodman Property Trust 1.27%, ING Property Trust by 1.75%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.74% and Tower by 0.75%.
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