RTTNews - New Zealand share market opened Modestly higher on Wednesday after receiving a mixed lead from Wall Street, where most of the U.S. averages except the Dow closed higher after Federal Reserve announced its decision to hold U.S. interest rates steady.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up by 11.75 points or 0.09% to 2,751.56 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index posted a gain of 12.64 points or 0.45% to 2,816.23.

New Zealand's market drifted lower in a lightly traded session on Wednesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index was down 22.2 points or 0.8 percent at 2,739.8. Market turnover was reported by the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 35.1 million shares valued at NZ$80.2 million. Declining issues outnumbered advancing stocks 48 to 25, with 33 issues remaining unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks ended Wednesday's trading mostly higher after showing a strong upward move in morning trading. However, the major averages turned in a mixed performance with broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 closing firmly positive, as the Dow posted a modest loss.

The pullback by the Dow followed the Federal Reserve's announcement of its latest decision on interest rates, although the Fed announced no change to its rate target and reiterated its commitment to the quantitative easing measures first announced in March.

The Fed also noted that information received since the April meeting suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing. The central bank said conditions in financial markets have generally improved and housing spending has shown further signs of stabilizing.

Some of the day's early optimism was generate by a report from the Commerce Department that showed that durable goods orders for May rose by 1.8 percent, matching a revised increase in April. The increase surprised economists, who had expected a decline of 0.9 percent.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said that new home sales slipped by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 342,000 in May from a revised April rate of 344,000. Economists had expected sales to jump 2.3 percent to 360,000 from the 352,000 originally reported for the previous month.

While the Dow climbed back towards the unchanged line going into the close of trading, it ended the session down 23.05 points or 0.3 percent at 8,299.86. On the other hand, the Nasdaq jumped 27.42 points or 1.6 percent to 1,792.34 and the S&P 500 rose 5.84 points or 0.7 percent to 900.94.

Crude oil closed a choppy session modestly lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. Investors also mulled over the Energy Department's weekly inventory report, which showed a drop in crude stocks but a rise in gasoline supplies.

Light sweet crude for August delivery dropped to $68.67 per barrel, down 57 cents on the session. Oil had touched as high as $69.86 earlier in the session.

In the economic news for Thursday, Statistics New Zealand releases its data on the country's Current Account Balance and Current Account Deficit-GDP Ratio for the 1st quarter at 22:45 PM GMT.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US64.03c at about 5am on Thursday, little changed from its level at 5pm on Wednesday. Though the kiwi touched US64.85c about 1am, it began declining after the Fed's decision at around 6.15am.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Thursday, market leader Telecom added 0.39%, as second ranked Contact Energy fell 0.52% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, added 1.10%.

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

In the energy sector, Vector gained 1.00%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Thursday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP, Australia and NZ Banking Corp, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged in the day's early trading.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil gave up 0.57%, Mainfreight lost 0.93%, Nuplex declined 0.66%, Sky City surged 1.91% and Sky Network Television added 0.70%, as Methven and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances dropped 1.52%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare collected 0.35%.

The other gainers in the day's early trading included-- Auckland International Airport by 0.64%, Ebos Group by 1.58%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 0.85%, ING Property Trust by 1.69%, NZ Farming Systems by 2.13% and Pike River Coal by 1.79%.

The major losers on Thursday morning included-- New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.64%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.72%, NZX Limited by 0.14%, PGG Wrightson by 3.57%, Rakon Limited by 1.38% and Tower by 1.18%.

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