RTTNews - The New Zealand share market opened marginally higher on Wednesday, following a mixed lead from the Wall Street where the major U.S. averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged line in a lack-luster day of trading.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 0.72 points or 0.03% to 2,791.52 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 0.73 points or 0.03% to 2,841.04.

New Zealand stocks moved higher on Tuesday, but by a small amount compared to others around the region. The benchmark NZX-50 index was up 12.95 points or 0.47 percent to close at 2,790.8. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 49.2 million shares valued at NZ$92.9 million.

Overseas, the U.S. stocks closed largely on the downside on Tuesday after a strong outing in the previous session. The major averages were unable to sustain any major moves during the day's choppy trading session, with the Dow and S&P 500 drifting into negative territory just ahead of the closing bell on Wall Street.

Stocks showed lack of conviction on the day, despite disappointing housing data released earlier in the day. Traders digested data from the U.S. Commerce Department showing a decline in housing starts in April to an annual rate of 458,000 units, compared to March's revised rate of 525,000 units.

Later in the day, President Barack Obama announced his goal for new fuel standards, proposing regulations that would require an average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon for automobiles beginning in the year 2016.

The major U.S. averages had a shaky outing, finishing on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow closed lower by 29.23 at 8474.85, while the S&P 500 closed down by 1.58 at 908.13. On the other hand, the Nasdaq was able to hold on to thin gains, finishing up by 2.18 at 1734.54

Light sweet crude for June delivery ended at $59.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday, up 62 cents. Prices had reached as high as $60.48 in overnight trading, oil's best level in 2009 for a front-month contract.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US60.18c by 8am on Wednesday when compared to US59.71c at 5pm on Tuesday. The kiwi had touched US60.60c during the night.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Wednesday, market leader Telecom and second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged, while Fletcher Building, the third best stock, inched up by 0.15%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Warehouse remained unchanged, as Pumpkin Patch advanced 1.63%.

In the energy sector, Vector and TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Wednesday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP added 1.04%, as Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil, Mainfreight, Methven, Nuplex and Sky City remained unchanged, as Sky Network Television eased 0.24% and Steel & Tube Holdings declined 1.31%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 0.31%.

Other major gainers in the day's early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 1.20%, Kiwi Income Property Trust BY 1.08%, New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited by 2.74%, NZ Farming Systems by 3.64%, Property For Industry by 0.89% and Pike River Coal by 0.88%.

The losers on Wednesday morning included- Cavalier Corporation by 0.56%, Ebos Group BY 0.20%, Freightways BY 3.28%, Goodman Fielder BY 0.63%, Guinness Peat Group BY 1.23% and Skellerup Holdings Limited by 1.72%.

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