RTTNews - New Zealand's stock market opened marginally higher on Thursday, despite a mixed overnight lead from the Wall Street where the major U.S. averages closed on both sides of the unchanged line on continued concerns about an economic recovery.
The benchmark NZX 50 index was up 6.65 points or 0.24% to 2,784.69 shortly after the market opened for the day, while the broader NZX All Capital index added 7.98 points or 0.28% to 2,843.01.
The New Zealand stock market had closed moderately lower on Wednesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index closed at 2778.039, down 8.115 points or 0.291 percent, after having fallen 39 points on Tuesday. Turnover was worth $97 million, with 39 advancing issues and 44 decliners.
Overseas, the major U.S. averages finished on opposite sides of the unchanged line in a lackluster outing on Wednesday. The lack of conviction came amid low volume and mixed trader sentiment regarding near-term economic prospects and proposed financial system reforms from the Obama administration.
Seeking to prevent a recurrence of the financial meltdown that sunk the U.S. economy into a recession, President Barack Obama laid out a sweeping agenda for regulatory reform earlier this afternoon. The president proposed granting the Federal Reserve the authority to scrutinize firms that are large enough to pose a systemic risk to the financial markets.
In addition, Obama called for the creation of an oversight council of existing federal regulators to share information, identify gaps in regulation and tackle issues that don't fit neatly into an organizational chart. Obama also called for the creation of a new agency dedicated to looking out for the interests of consumers in the financial markets.
Earlier, traders digested a report on consumer prices from the Labor Department that showed a modest increase in the month of May, with the mild price growth coming in below the expectations of economists.
In other news, the Federal Reserve continued its treasury buyback program Wednesday, completing its second quantitative easing move of the week. The New York Federal Reserve purchased $7.0 billion worth of securities with maturity dates ranging from May of 2016 to May of 2019.
The day's buyback saw a total of $26.2 billion in treasuries submitted for the purchase. Overall, the Fed has purchased a total of $169.97 billion since the program began on March 25th.
The major U.S. averages ended the session mixed, largely unable to hold onto their earlier gains. While the Nasdaq finished higher by 11.88 points or 0.7 percent at 1,808.06, the Dow slid 7.49 points or 0.1 percent to 8,497.18 and the S&P 500 dropped by 1.26 points or 0.1 percent to 910.71.
Oil prices finished a choppy session modestly higher on Wednesday in U.S. trading as investors mulled the Energy Information Administration inventories report. Oil gained strength in the afternoon as the dollar gave back some early gains.
Light sweet crude oil ended the day at $71.03, up 56 cents on the session. Oil touched as low as $69.00 after earlier hitting as high as $71.28.
Crude oil inventories decreased by 3.9 million barrels in the week ended June 12. Economists were looking for a decline of about 1.7 million barrels. At 357.7 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.
On the currency front, the New Zealand dollar was buying US63.38c by 8am on Thursday, compared to around US63.05c at 5pm on Wednesday.
In the early trading on the New Zealand stock market on Thursday, market leader Telecom added 0.77%, as second ranked Contact Energy remained unchanged and Fletcher Building, the third best stock, collected 0.31%.
In the retail sector, Hallenstein Glasson, jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, Pumpkin Patch and Warehouse remained unchanged in the day's early trading.
In the energy sector, Vector gained 0.49%, as TrustPower gave up 0.76% in the early trading on Thursday.
Among the dual listed issues, AMP, APN News & Media, Lion Nathan, Telstra and Westpac Bank remained unchanged in the day's early trading, while Australia and NZ Banking Corp dropped 0.82%.
Among other notable stocks, Infratil, Mainfreight and Methven remained unchanged, as Nuplex surged 290.24%, Sky City added 0.37%, Sky Network Television gained 0.71% and Steel & Tube Holdings fell 3.39%. Fisher & Paykel Appliances remained unchanged, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advanced 0.34%.
The other gainers on Thursday morning included- Auckland International Airport by 1.95%, ING Property Trust by 1.72%, NZ Farming Systems by 1.92%, Pike River Coal by 0.85% and Tower by 1.08%.
The major losers in the day's early trading included- Ebos Group by 0.92%, Freightways by 0.67%, New Zealand Oil & Gas by 0.62% and PGG Wrightson Limited by 1.57%.
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