RTTNews - New Zealand's stock market opened higher on Tuesday on the back of sharp overnight gains at the Wall Street, where the major U.S. averages closed higher on encouraging economic news.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 27.91 points or 1.01% to 2,792.08 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 20.04 points or 0.71% to 2,850.46.

New Zealand stocks were broadly higher on Monday after improving economic data from China helped send Asia/Pacific markets higher. The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 42.20 points or 1.55 percent to 2,764.17. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 72.9 million shares valued at NZ$133.1 million.

Overseas, U.S. stocks were able to extend their gains for a third straight session on Monday, seeing a notably strong outing for the first trading day of June. The major averages all finished firmly in positive territory, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closing at their best levels of the year.

After moving sharply higher over the course of the morning, the major averages moved roughly sideways for much of the afternoon. The Dow held onto a standout gain, ending the session up more than 220 points, at its best closing level since early January.

Trader confidence was boosted by an influx of largely promising economic figures, with data from the Institute for Supply Management showing a slower pace of contraction in activity in the manufacturing sector in the month of April.

Further, construction spending unexpectedly increased in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department, with the unexpected growth reflecting a notable increase in spending on private construction.

The Commerce Department also released a separate report showing that personal income unexpectedly rose in the month of April, with the increase partly due to the reduced taxes and increased social benefit payments associated with the government's economic stimulus plan.

The major U.S. averages saw additional upside in afternoon trading and finished just off of their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up 221.11 points or 2.6 percent, at 8,721.44, the Nasdaq finished up by 54.35 points or 3.1 percent, at 1,828.68, and the S&P 500 rose 23.73 points or 2.6 percent to 942.87.

Light sweet crude oil ended up $2.27 to $68.58 at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday, marking the highest settlement since Nov. 4. Earlier, it had touched $68.68 during intra-day trading.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US65.19c by 8am on Tuesday, after peaking near US65.65c by around 6am.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom added 1.20%, as second ranked Contact Energy collected 1.75%, and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, surged 2.31%.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson added 0.40%, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International jumped 4.69%. Pumpkin Patch collected 0.79%, while Warehouse remained unchanged.

In the energy sector, Vector advanced 2.97%, as TrustPower remained unchanged in the early trading on Tuesday.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP and Westpac Bank remained unchanged, as Australia and NZ Banking Corp climbed 2.00%, APN News & Media advanced 1.78%, Lion Nathan eased 0.14% and Telstra collected 1.30%.

Among other notable stocks, Methven collected 1.53%, Nuplex slumped 6.52%, Sky City declined 2.10%, Sky Network Television advanced 0.73% and Steel & Tube Holdings added 1.69%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances surged 6.36%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained unchanged.

Other gainers in the day's early trading included- Auckland International Airport by 1.87%, Goodman Property Trust by 2.14%, Guinness Peat Group by 2.63%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.09%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 1.25%, New Zealand Refining Company by 0.14%, Port of Tauranga by 1.65%, Ryman Healthcare by 0.61% and Tower by 5.95%.

The losers on Tuesday morning included- AMP NZ Office Trust by 1.32%, Ebos Group by 0.20%, Infratil by 0.60%, Mainfreight by 0.44%, PGG Wrightson by 0.74%, Pike River Coal by 5.69% and Skellerup Holdings by 1.67%.

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