RTTNews - Lower opens are expected Wednesday for the New Zealand and Australia markets, following overnight losses on Wall Street. U.S. stocks slumped after a worse-than-expected consumer confidence report cast doubts on economic recovery prospects.

New Zealand's market posted a modest gain on the final trading day of the fiscal quarter, with a drop in volume leader Telecom Corp of NZ weighing the market down.

At the close, the benchmark NZX-50 index was up 20.99 points or 0.8 percent at 2,796.1.

Trading volume was 63.5 million shares valued at NZ$185.3 million.

Among the session's most actively traded issues, Auckland International Airport was up NZ$0.03, AMP New Zealand Office Trust was down .02, Fletcher Building was up .20, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was up a penny, F &P Healthcare was also up one cent, Goodman Property Trust was unchanged, Kiwi Income Properties was up .01, Pumpkin Patch was up .14, SkyCity Entertainment, Telecom Corp of NZ was down one cent, Tourism Holdings was down .03 and Vector was up .02.

Among the Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks, AMP was up .05, Australia and NZ Bank was up .28, APN News & Media was up .03, Goodman was unchanged, Lion Nathan was up .03, Telstra was up a nickel and Westpac Bank was up .47.

In Australia, markets posted solid gains. Strong performances by the energy and retail sectors led the advance.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 68.0 points or 1.75 percent at 3,954.9 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 65.1 points or 1.7 percent at 3,947.8.

Trading volume totaled 2.26 billion shares valued at A$5.08 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 635 to 563, with 376 unchanged.

In the retail sector, Woolworths was up .68 and rival Wesfarmers gained .67, Harvey Norman was up .26, JB Hi-Fi rose .34 and David Jones jumped .42 or 10.2 percent on positive earnings guidance.

In the resources sector, mining leader BHP Billiton was up .82, Rio Tinto was up $1.93. OZ Minerals gained .92 and Fortescue Metals rose .08.

Oil producer Woodside Petroleum was up .68 and Santos was up .24.

Among the major banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group was up .28, Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced .08, National Australia Bank was up .07 and Westpac Bank was up .47.

For the gold miners, Lihir Gold advanced to cents, Newcrest Mining was up .56 and Newmont was up a penny.

Overseas, a worse than expected consumer confidence report sent U.S. stocks tumbling on Tuesday. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence was flat for June, after posting gains in the preceding two months.

About 40 minutes before the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 105.73 points or 1.24 percent at 8,423.65, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 11.21 points or 0.61 percent at 1,832.85 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 10.01 points or 1.08 percent at 917.22.

The major markets in the Asia/Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Average posted a gain of 174.97 points or 1.79 percent to close at 9,958.44.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 149.78 points or 0.81 percent to 18,378.73.

The Shanghai Composite index in China was down 15.95 points or 0.54 percent at 2,969.36.

India's BSE 30 index fell 291.90 points or 1.87 percent to 14,493.84.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index fell 6.94 points or 0.34 percent to 2,026.78.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was up 41.01 points or 0.64 percent at 6,432.16.

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