The New Zealand stock market opened higher on Tuesday, extending Monday's rally and riding the wave of a strong performance on Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 33.01 points or 1.19% to 2,799.28 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital Index added 37.34 points or 1.33% to 2,855.30.

New Zealand's share market joined the Asia/Pacific region-wide rally on Monday. At the close the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 46.36 points or 1.7 percent at 2,766.3. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 43.6 million shares valued at NZ$80.77 million. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 52 to 22 with 38 unchanged.

Overseas, U.S. stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Monday, as traders reacted to the release of some better than expected economic data. The major averages extended the upward move seen last week, rising to multi-month closing highs.

The strength in the U.S. markets came as the better than expected data generated some optimism about the outlook for the economy, particularly a recovery in the beleaguered housing market.

A report from the National Association of Realtors showed a significant increase in pending home sales, an indicator of future housing market activity. The increase came as many first-time buyers are taking advantage of historically good housing affordability conditions.

Separately, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected increase in construction spending, which rose 0.3 percent in March following a 1.0 percent decrease in February. Economists had expected spending to fall by about 1.6 percent.

In other news, President Barack Obama discussed his administration's efforts to close tax loopholes in remarks Monday, pledging that his administration is working to reform the tax system and crack down on illegal overseas tax evasion.

The major U.S. averages saw some further upside going into the close, ending the session at or near their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up 214.33 points or 2.6 percent at 8,426.74, the Nasdaq closed up 44.36 points or 2.6 percent at 1,763.56 and the S&P 500 closed up 29.72 points or 3.4 percent at 907.24.

Crude oil surged again on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday and posted its highest close in more than five months. Oil finished in positive territory for a fourth straight session to move above $54 a barrel amid encouraging economic news from the U.S. and China.

Light sweet crude for June delivery ended at $54.47 per barrel, up $1.27 on the session. Prices touched as high as $54.55.

On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US57.44c by 8am on Tuesday, little changed from its level at 5pm on Monday. During the night, the kiwi had touched US57.70c.

In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Tuesday, market leader Telecom surged 3.28%, as second ranked Contact Energy added 0.68% and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, remained unchanged.

In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson remained unchanged, as jewelry retailer Michael Hill International collected 1.75%, Pumpkin Patch added 0.83%, and Warehouse climbed 1.85%.

In the energy sector, Vector advanced 0.47%, as TrustPower collected 1.43% in the early trading on Tuesday morning.

Among the dual listed issues, AMP jumped 2.24%, Australia and NZ Banking Corp added 0.24%, Lion Nathan gained 0.27% and Westpac Bank collected 1.29%, as APN News & Media and Telstra remained unchanged.

Among other notable stocks, Infratil was up 1.25%, as Mainfreight added 1.32%, Nuplex jumped 2.86%, Sky City advanced 1.85, Sky Network Television collected 0.72%, Steel & Tube Holdings climbed 1.35% and Methven remained unchanged.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances surged 5.88%, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare remained on the unchanged line.

The were no losers among the shares listed under New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index on Tuesday morning. The major gainers in the day's early trading included--Freightways by 1.70%, Goodman Property Trust by 1.19%, Guinness Peat Group by 1.30%, ING Property Trust by 1.72%, Kiwi Income Property Trust by 1.09%, Pike River Coal by 2.53%, Rakon by 10.61%, Tourism Holdings by 2.04% and Tower by 1.43%.

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