New Zealand stock market opened stronger on Friday, following a positive overnight lead from the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed higher on some reassuring economic news.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 14.55 points or 0.56% to 2,630.81 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 12.08 points or 0.46% to 2,664.68.

New Zealand's share market declined for a second straight session on Thursday. The benchmark NZX-50 index declined 14 points or 0.54 percent to 2,616.25. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 42.5 million shares valued at NZ$76.5 million.

Overseas, U.S. stocks moved mostly higher throughout much of the trading session on Thursday, ultimately closing firmly in positive territory. The strength initially came as investors responded well to some reassuring economic data, and it was extended on comments from Treasury Secretary Geithner.

Stocks also saw some further upside in the afternoon as the results of the Treasury Department's auction of $24 billion worth of seven-year notes helped to ease some of the recent concerns about the outlook for demand for government debt.

The major U.S. averages continued to perform well going into the close, ending the session at their best closing level in well over a month. The Dow closed up 174.75 points or 2.3 percent at 7,924.56, the Nasdaq closed up 58.05 points or 3.8 percent at 1,587.00 and the S&P 500 closed up 18.98 points or 2.3 percent at 832.86.

Crude oil surged again on Thursday and recovered its losses from the previous session. The rally took prices to their highest level in more than 2 1/2 months.

Light sweet crude for May delivery climbed to $54.35, up $1.58 for the day. Oil hit as high as $54.66, its best mark since early January.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US56.21c by 8 am on Friday, after bouncing between US57.20c and US55.55c during the night.

In Thursday's economic calendar, Statistics New Zealand releases its data on New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter, as well as trade balance, exports, imports for February at 21:45 PM GMT.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom added 1.74%, as second ranked Contact Energy collected 1.04% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, gave up 0.65%.

In the retail sector Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged.

In the energy sector Vector fell 0.89%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Friday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan and Telstra remained unchanged, as Westpac Bank eased 0.37%.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil, Mainfreight, Methven, Sky Network Television and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged, as Nuplex fell 7.77% and Sky City collected 0.36%.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained unchanged, as Fisher & Paykel Appliances surged 7.84%.

Other major gainers in the day's early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 0.59%, AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.14%, Goodman Fielder by 3.17%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.37%, ING Property Trust by 1.75%, NZX Limited by 3.70%, Rakon by 0.78%, Ryman Healthcare by 2.11%, Skellerup Holdings by 3.08% and Tower by 0.76%.

Major losers on Friday morning were- Ebos Group by 0.62%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 0.88%, PGG Wrightson Limited by 1.67%, and Tourism Holdings Limited by 2.04%.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com