RTTNews - New Zealand's stock market opened marginally weaker on Wednesday on a mixed overnight lead from the Wall Street, where major U.S. averages closed on both sides of the unchanged line.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 2.68 points or 0.10% to 2,819.71 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index gave up 4.74 points or 0.16% to 2,876.89.

New Zealand's market posted a modest gain on Tuesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 5.8 points or 0.2 percent to 2,822.40. Trading volume was listed by the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 45.99 million shares valued at NZ$71.1 million.

Overseas, U.S. stocks showed some life in afternoon trading on Tuesday and finished largely on the upside after being plagued by choppy trading for much of the session. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 saw some strength on the day, while the Dow drifted lower just before the closing bell.

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced that 10 of the largest U.S. financial institutions borrowing money from the Treasury are planning on paying back their loans. Organizations such as JP Morgan Chase (JPM), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) will repay a total of $68 billion.

President Barack Obama praised the move, noting that the government has turned a profit from the first round of repayments. He also offered cautious optimism that the financial system is stabilizing,

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said addressing U.S. lawmakers that he plans to begin the reform of the U.S. regulatory system soon.

In the next few weeks we will outline a comprehensive plan of reform that will include systemic risk regulations to ensure that no large and interconnected firm or market can take on so much risk that its failure could destabilize the entire financial system, Geithner told a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations committee.

On the economic front, wholesale inventories fell by a little more than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, with the report also showing a modest decrease in wholesale sales.

Additionally, the Commerce Department said that wholesale sales edged down 0.4 percent in April after falling by a more significant 2.4 percent in March. Wholesale sales were down 19.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

U.S. stocks finished the day mostly higher, led by gains in the technology sector. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up by 17.73 points or 1 percent at 1,860.13 and the S&P 500 rose 3.29 points or 0.4 percent to 942.43, while the Dow slipped by 1.43 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 8,763.06.

Crude oil closed above $70 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time this year as the Energy Information Administration boosted its short-term energy outlook.

Light sweet crude for July delivery climbed to $70.01 per barrel, up $1.92 on the session, its best close since Nov. 4. Crude touched as high as $70.18, challenging the multi-month intraday high of $70.32 reached last week.

The Energy Information Administration boosted its expectations for the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil to an average of $67 per barrel for the second half of 2009. This is up about $16 compared with the first half of the year. In its May report, the EIA said it expected prices to remain around $55 per barrel for the rest of the year.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US62.70c by 8am on Wednesday, compared to US61.86c at 5pm on Tuesday.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Wednesday, market leader Telecom eased 0.38%, as second ranked Contact Energy added 0.53% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, fell 0.59%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International and Pumpkin Patch remained unchanged, as Warehouse lost 0.26%.

In the energy sector, Vector gave up 0.47%, while TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Wednesday.

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

Among other notable stocks, Infratil gave up 0.57%, Mainfreight fell 2.12%, Nuplex surged 2.44%, Sky City slipped 0.71% and Sky Network Television lost 1.15%, as Methven and Steel & Tube Holdings remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down 1.45%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare declined 0.95%.

Other gainers in the day's early trading included- AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.35%, Ebos Group by 2.00%, Goodman Fielder Limited by 1.14%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.39%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.63% and NZ Farming Systems by 4.00%.

The losers on Wednesday morning included- Air New Zealand by 0.97%, Cavalier by 2.63%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.19%, Port of Tauranga by 0.79%, Ryman Healthcare by 1.25% and Skellerup Holdings by 1.72%.

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