RTTNews - Higher opens are expected Friday for the New Zealand and Australia sharemarkets, off of a broadly positive lead from Wall Street. U.S. stocks moved higher on strong demand for the Treasury Department's latest bond auction.

New Zealand's market turned solidly higher on Thursday, following the release of data showing the nation's first quarter trade deficit narrowed.

The benchmark NZX-50 index advanced 30.85 points or 1.13 percent at 2,770.66.

Turnover was heavy, led by heavy trading in Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks. The New Zealand Stock Exchange reported trading volume of 36.5 million shares valued at NZ$103.2 million.

Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 47 to 34 with 31 unchanged.

Among the session's most actively traded stocks, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.03, AMP was down .10, Australia and New Zealand Bank rose .05, APN News & Media was up .04, AMP New Zealand Office Trust was unchanged, Fletcher Building was up .04, Goodman Property Trust was down a penny, Kiwi Income Properties was flat, Lion Nathan was down a penny, SkyCity Entertainment was up .12, Telecom Corp of NZ was up .09, Telstra was down .03 and Westpac Bank was up .30.

In Australia, the sharemarket closed higher for the second straight session, with resources stocks leading the market higher.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 49.0 points or 1.3 percent to 3,856.0 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 49.3 points or 1.3 percent to 3,851.5.

Market volume was 2.03 billion shares valued at A$4.34 billion.

There were 624 stocks closing higher, 475 lower and 370 unchanged.

Among the resources leader, global mining leader BHP Billiton advanced A$0.79 and Rival Rio Tinto was up $2.19. Among the junior miners, Fortescue Metals was up .08 and OZ Minerals was up two cents.

For the oil stocks, Woodside Petroleum was up .67, Santos advanced .15 and Oil Search gained .07.

The gold miners advanced, with Newcrest Mining up .53, Newmont Mining was up .07 and Lihir Gold rose .06.

The major banks were also higher, with Australia and NZ Banking Group up .05, Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced .52, National Australia Bank was up a nickel and Westpac up .30.

Shares of Coca-Cola Amatil were down .03 despite indications of record first-half profits.

Overseas, strong auction demand for U.S. treasury notes put Wall Street investors in a buying mood on Thursday. About a half hour before the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 151.75 points or 1.83 percent at 8.451.61, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 31.26 points or '.74 percent at 1,823.60 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 17.29 points or 1.92 percent at 918.23.

With the exception of India's, all of the major markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed higher on Thursday.

The Nikkei 225 Average in Japan gained 205.76 points or 2.15 percent to close at 9,796.08.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 302.88 points or 2.14 percent at 18,275.03.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index rose 2.75 points or 0.09 percent to 2,925.05.

The day's only decliner was India's BSE 30 index, which fell 77.11 points or 0.53 percent to 14.345.62.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia advanced 48.50 points or 2.43 percent to 2,044.17.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was up 28.94 points or 2.12 percent to 1,392.73.

The Taiwan Weighted Index advanced 77.53 points or 1.22 percent to 6,457.61.

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