RTTNews - Lower opens are expected for the New Zealand and Australia stock markets, following a weak lead overnight from Wall Street. U.S. stocks spent the session in lower territory after worse than expected economic data, and a pull-back from the recent four-session rally.

New Zealand's sharemarket posted a strong gain on Wednesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index was up 33.43 points or 1.19 percent to close at 2,840.63.

Turnover was reported by the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 60 million shares valued at NZ$123.7 million.

Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 50 to 26, with 38 unchanged.

Among the session's most actively traded issues, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.03, APN News & Media was up .02, AMP NZ was down a penny, Fletcher Building was up .20, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down .04, F & P Healthcare was up .09, Goodman Property Trust was unchanged, Guinness Peat was down a nickel, Nuplex was unchanged, SkyCity Entertainment was down a penny, Telecom Corp of NZ was down .03 and The Warehouse was up six cents.

Across the Tasman, data showing the country avoided a recession by posting Q1 GDP growth of 0.4 percent helped stocks move broadly higher.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 61.9 points or 1.56 percent at 4,017.2 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 61.2 points or 1.55 percent to 4,009.3.

Market turnover totaled 2.65 billion shares valued at A$5.85 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 669 to 393, with 343 unchanged.

The property stocks led the market gains, with Westfield up A$0.71 or more than 6 percent, Lend Lease was up .45 or 6.25 percent and Mirvac advanced .11 or more than 9 percent.

The big banks were also higher, with Australia and NZ Banking Group up .38, Commonwealth Bank of Australia higher by .47, National Australia Bank up .31 and Westpac was up .41.

In the resources sector, mining giant BHP Billiton was higher by .33 while rival Rio Tinto gained $2.60, Fortescue Metals was up .13 and OZ Minerals was down four cents.

U.S. stocks retreated on Wednesday, backing away from its four-session winning streak. With about a half hour to go before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 115.57 points or 1.32 percent at 8,625.30, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 22.37 points or 1.22 percent at 1,814.43 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was lower by 17.88 points or 1.90 percent at 926.83.

Markets were mixed in the Asia/Pacific region on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average was up 37.36 points or 0.38 percent at 8,741.67.

China's Shanghai Composite index rose 54.29 points or 1.99 percent to 2,778.88.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced 187.39 points or 1.02 percent to 18,576.47.

India's BSE 30 Index was down 4.01 points or 0.03 percent at 14,870.90.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia was up 12.27 points or 0.61 percent at 2,010.91.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was up 2.04 points or 0.14 percent at 1,414.89.

The Taiwan Weighted Index declined 55.94 points or 0.80 percent at 6,893.14.

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