RTTNews - The New Zealand share market opened weaker on Friday, following sharp overnight losses on Wall Street, where a worse-than-expected unemployment report sent U.S. stocks tumbling.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was down 6.85 points or 0.25% to 2,761.33 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index lost 10.77 points or 0.38% to 2,821.54.

After a higher open on Thursday, New Zealand's market moved lower in session marked by a general lack of direction. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed with a loss of 12.2 points or 0.4 percent at 2,768.2. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 37.8 million shares valued at NZ$106.5 million. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 42 to 29 with 36 unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks lingered near their worst levels of the day throughout the trading session on Thursday after plummeting early on in reaction to disappointing employment data. The major averages all posted steep losses ending the holiday-shortened week on a sour note.

The day's losses came on the heels of a report from the Labor Department showing that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

With the bigger than expected decrease in employment, the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent in June from 9.4 percent in May. The increase lifted the unemployment rate to its highest level since August of 1983, although it was below economist estimates of 9.6 percent.

Following the weak jobs data, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing that orders for manufactured goods rose 1.2 percent in May following a downwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in April. Economists had expected orders to rise 0.9 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The major U.S. indices saw further downside late in the session, finishing near their worst levels of the day. The Dow closed down by 223.32 points or 2.6 percent at 8,280.74, the Nasdaq fell by 49.20 points or 2.7 percent to 1,796.52, and the S&P 500 closed down 26.91 points or 2.9 percent at 896.42.

Oil dropped to its lowest level in nearly a month on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as a disappointing employment report sparked demand concerns. Crude finished in negative territory for a third straight session.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery settled at $66.73 per barrel, down $2.58. This marks the lowest close since June 3. Oil hit as low as $66.50 in intraday trading.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US62.93c at about 8am on Friday, compared to US63.79c at 5pm on Thursday. During the night, the kiwi had touched a 10-day low of US62.80c.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Friday, market leader Telecom posted a loss of 0.38%, as second ranked Contact Energy gave up 0.17% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, dropped 1.07%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson and jewelry retailer Michael Hill International remained unchanged, as Pumpkin Patch dropped 1.38% and Warehouse fell 0.79%.

In the energy sector, Vector gave up 0.49%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Friday.

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 eased 0.58%, Mainfreight gave up 0.71%, Sky Network Television declined 0.24% and Steel & Tube Holdings dropped 1.05%, as Sky City and Methven remained unchanged. Fisher & Paykel Appliances slumped 1.47%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained unchanged.

The major gainers in the day's early trading included-- AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.41%, Goodman Property Trust by 2.25% Nuplex by 0.65% and Tourism Holdings by 2.50%.

The other losers in the early trading on Friday included-- Freightways by 1.38%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.75%, ING Medical Properties Trust by 1.67%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.09%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.64%, Property For Industry by 1.67%, Pike River Coal by 1.71%, Sanford by 1.67% and Tower by 0.59%.

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