RTTNews - The New Zealand stock markets opened steeply higher on Tuesday, following a positive overnight lead provided by the Wall Street where U.S. stocks closed higher on renewed optimism in the housing and financial sectors.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 46.25 points or 1.67% to 2,824.11 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 40.96 points or 1.45% to 2,865.91.

New Zealand's share market closed lower on Monday. The benchmark NZX-50 index declined 13.04 points or 0.47 percent at 2,777.86. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 63.7 million shares valued at NZ$109.6 million. There were 38 stocks closing higher, 41 lower and 36 were unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday on renewed optimism in the housing and financial sectors. After a notably lower close in the previous session, U.S. stocks rallied to a higher close, with all the major averages ending at their best levels of the day.

Traders considered a report from the National Association of Home Builders that said its index of homebuilder sentiment rose to 16 in May, compared to a level of 14 in April. The figure was the best reading since September, fueling speculation that the housing sector is bottoming and economic recovery may be around the corner.

In other economic news, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner commented that although the economy is stabilizing, there are still some difficulties ahead. In an early afternoon interview, Geithner stated: Even as growth starts to turn positive, which will happen...it's not going to feel better for a long time for millions of Americans.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continued its treasury buyback program this morning, as a part of its quantitative easing efforts. The New York arm of the Federal Reserve purchased $3.18 billion worth of securities with maturity dates ranging from August of 2019 to February of 2026. The day's buyback attracted strong interest, with a total of $15.22 billion in treasuries submitted for the purchase.

The major indices closed prominently higher, with the Dow closing up 235.44 at 8504.08, the Nasdaq finishing up 52.22 at 1732.36, and the S&P 500 closing higher by 26.83 at 909.71.

Crude oil climbed above the $59 a barrel mark on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday as violence in Africa fueled supply concerns. Meanwhile, a rise in global equities has boosted struggling demand.

Light sweet crude for June delivery finished at $59.03, up $2.69 for the session. Prices rallied as high as $59.33 earlier in the day.

Violence continued in Nigeria between the government and rebels, causing concerns over supplies. The rebel Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has threatened to block waterways used to transport crude exports.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar gained almost a cent versus the greenback overnight, and was buying US59.53c by 8am on Tuesday when compared to US58.60c at 5pm on Monday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom added 1.16%, as second ranked Contact Energy gained 1.67% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, surged 2.69%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International jumped 3.23%, Pumpkin Patch advanced 1.65% and Warehouse collected 0.82%.

In the energy sector, Vector was up 0.47%, while TrustPower inched up by 0.26% in the early trading on Tuesday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP jumped 2.29%, Australia and NZ Banking Corp surged 7.14%, Lion Nathan added 0.67%, Telstra advanced 0.25% and Westpac Bank collected 1.53%, as APN News & Media remained unchanged.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil added 1.23%, Sky City collected 1.18%, Sky Network Television advanced 1.06% and Steel & Tube Holdings inched up 0.33%, as Mainfreight and Nuplex remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances jumped 4.92%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 1.61%.

Other major gainers in the day's early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 1.81%, Goodman Property Trust by 2.41%, Guinness Peat Group by 2.50%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 4.17%, PGG Wrightson by 2.27%, Pike River Coal by 3.88%, Rakon by 1.33%, Ryman Healthcare by 5.10%, Skellerup Holdingsby 1.75% and Tower by 1.23%.

The only loser among stocks listed under the NZX 50 index on Tuesday morning was Methven Limited. The company's stocks posted a loss of 1.54% in the day's early trading.

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