RTTNews - The New Zealand share market opened slightly weaker on Tuesday, following overnight losses on Wall Street, where U.S. stocks closed modestly lower as a round of profit taking interrupted the string of recent gains.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 7.96 points or 0.26% to 3,073.00 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index slipped 3.74 points or 0.12% to 3,121.44.

New Zealand's market opened the week with a solid gain on Monday. The benchmark NZX 50 index closed higher by 11.9 points or 0.39 percent at 3,080.9. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 33.2 million shares valued at NZ$81.6 million. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 61 to 25 with 29 unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks posted modest losses on Monday, as traders cashed in on recent gains amid a lack of significant moves. The major averages all finished in negative territory, kicking off the week on a sour note.

The decline came ahead of some key economic reports on tap for this week, including data on retail sales, industrial production and weekly jobless claims. Further, the Federal Open Market Committee will make its interest rate announcement on Wednesday, with the key fed funds rate expected to remain unchanged amid a challenging economic environment.

On the corporate front, Freddie Mac (FRE) said late Friday that it no longer needs government aid, as the mortgage lender posted a positive net worth. Benefiting from accounting adjustments and gains, Freddie Mac reported a second quarter profit of $821 million on a notable increase in revenues to $7.47 billion from last year's $1.59 billion.

Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) reported a 14 percent increase in second quarter earnings, fueled by gains from derivatives trading, which soared to $1.53 billion from $453 million in the second quarter of last year. The firm earned $1,147 per share, while Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn $1,238 per share for the quarter.

Microsoft (MSFT), which recently struck a ten-year deal with Yahoo (YHOO) to share search engine technology and ad revenue, announced an agreement with French ad company Publicis to sell its Razorfish digital advertising unit.

The major U.S. averages regained some ground going into the close of trading, although they remained stuck in the red. The Dow closed down by 32.12 points or 0.3 percent at 9,337.95, the Nasdaq slipped by 8.01 points or 0.4 percent to 1,992.24 and the S&P 500 fell by 3.38 points or 0.3 percent to 1,007.10.

Crude oil prices finished modestly lower amid choppy trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday, but held above the $70 per barrel mark. Traders expressed some uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later this week. Light sweet crude for September moved to $70.60 a barrel, down 33 cents for the day. Prices touched as low as $70.09 and as high as $71.57 earlier in the day.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US67.59c by about 8 am on Tuesday, after bouncing between US67.20c and US67.75c during most of the night. In comparison, the kiwi was buying US67.35c at 5pm on Monday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom slipped 0.36%, as second ranked Contact Energy eased 0.31% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, fell 0.28%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International surged 4.41%, Pumpkin Patch dropped 1.11% and Warehouse gave up 0.25%. Among energy stocks, TrustPower and Vector 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 Tuesday morning.

Among other notable stocks Infratil gained 0.55%, Mainfreight slipped 0.60%, Nuplex advanced 0.97%, Sky City gave up 0.59% and Sky Network Television dropped 0.43%, as Methven and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged. While Fisher & Paykel Appliances fell 1.19%, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained unchanged.

The other losers on Tuesday morning included-- Air New Zealand by 1.67%, PGG Wrightson by 1.09%, Port of Tauranga by 0.89%, Pike River Coal by 0.85%, Ryman Healthcare by 1.05%, Sanford by 0.58% and Skellerup Holdings by 1.75%.

The major gainers among the stocks listed under the NZX 50 index in the day's early trading included-- Freightways by 0.61%, Guinness Peat Group by 5.17%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.71% and NZX Limited by 0.64%.

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