RTTNews - The New Zealand stock market opened marginally higher on Tuesday, following a modestly higher overnight lead from Wall Street, where all the major U.S. averages closed slightly higher on encouraging housing data.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 4.26 points or 0.14% to 3,002.26 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index added 3.16 points or 0.10% to 3,062.23.

New Zealand's share market posted its 10th consecutive advance on Monday. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed with a gain of 36.8 points or 1.2 percent at 2,9988.0. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 41.4 million shares valued at NZ$95.0 million. Advancers outnumbered decliners 51 to 23 with 33 unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks staged a modest rally in late session trading on Monday after experiencing a largely lackluster session. The major averages were all able to finish in positive territory by mild margins on another day marred by low volume.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that new home sales in the month of June increased by much more than expected. New home sales jumped by 11 percent, the sharpest increase in nearly nine years.

The stronger than expected sales growth came amid a pullback in prices, with the median sales price of new houses sold in June falling 5.8 percent to $206,200 from $219,000 in the previous month. The median sales price had increased for two consecutive months.

In earnings news, RadioShack (RSH), Tellabs (TLAB) and Corning (GLW) reported earnings that beat Wall Street estimates, while Verizon (VZ) and Honeywell (HON) reported results that were in-line with expectations. Aetna (AET), however, was one of the major firms whose quarterly earnings fell short of estimates.

The major U.S. averages showed a notable move to the upside going into the close, ending the session just above the unchanged line. The Dow closed up by 15.27 points or 0.2 percent at 9,108.51, the Nasdaq climbed by 1.93 points or 0.1 percent to 1,967.89 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.92 points or 0.3 percent at 982.18.

Crude oil finished a choppy session mildly higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday after earlier challenging $69 per barrel. Oil received a spark from encouraging housing data that led to believe better days may be looming for energy demand.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery rose to $68.38, up 33 cents on the session. Prices earlier touched as high as $68.99 before hitting as low as $67.60.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US65.64c at 8am on Tuesday, little changed from its level at 5pm on Monday. During the night, the kiwi had peaked at US66.10c by about 11.30pm.

In the economic calender for Tuesday, Statistics New Zealand releases its data on the country's trade balance, imports and exports at 22:45 GMT.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom remained unchanged, as second ranked Contact Energy advanced 0.81% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, eased 0.55%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson and Pumpkin Patch remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International gave up 1.49% and Warehouse added 0.77%. 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, Mainfreight and Nuplex remained unchanged, as Methven dropped 0.70%, Sky City added 0.64%, Sky Network Television advanced 0.69% and Steel & Tube Holdings gained 0.34%. While Fisher & Paykel Appliances surged 2.33%, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare declined 1.25%.

The other major losers on Tuesday morning included-- ING Medical Properties Trust by 0.84%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.52%, NZ Farming Systems by 4.35%,

The gainers in the day's early trading included-- Air New Zealand by 5.10%, Goodman Property Trust by 2.04%, Guinness Peat Group by 0.32%, Port of Tauranga by 0.78%, Rakon by 0.70% and Sanford by 0.95%.

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