RTTNews - Mixed to lower opens are expected for New Zealand and Australia stocks on Tuesday. The markets get a mixed lead from Wall Street, as uncertainty about a U.S. economic recovery continued and commodity prices fell sharply.

New Zealand's sharemarket closed modestly lower in a lightly traded session.

The benchmark NZX 50 index ended 2,742.9, a loss of 18.5 pints or 0.7 percent.

Trading volume was reported by the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 22.1 million shares valued at NZ$42.7 million.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 39 to 19 with 45 unchanged.

Among the session's most heavily traded issues, Auckland International Airport was down NZ$0.05, Fletcher Building was down .07, Fisher & Paykel Appliances was down .02, F & P Healthcare was unchanged, Goodman Property Trust was up a penny, Infratil was down .04, Sky Network TV was unchanged and Telecom Corp of NZ was down two cents.

Among the Australia-NZ dual-listed stocks, Westpac Bank was down .24, Telstra was down .04, Lion Nathan was unchanged, Goodman was down a penny, APN News & Media was up .04, Australia and NZ Banking Group was down .17 and AMP was down two cents.

In Australia, weakness in the resources sector pushed the overall market lower.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 44.5 points or 1.2 percent to 3,783.7 while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 42.4 points or 1.1 percent at 3,784.2.

Trading volume was 1.61 billion shares valued at A$3.05 billion.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancers 556 to 368 with 312 unchanged.

In the resources sector, mining leader BHP Billiton was down A$0.81 while rival Rio Tinto fell $1.10 after announcing the sale of its Alcan Packaging Food Americas division.

Elsewhere in the mining sector, Fortescue Metals was down .13 while OZ Minerals was unchanged and Murchison Metals fell .17.

For the oil stocks, Woodside petroleum was down .58, Santos was down .56 and Oil Search declined .07.

Among the gold miners, Newcrest Mining was down 1.2, Newmont was down .03 and Lihir Gold was down .03.

The financial sector was also lower, with Australia and NZ Banking Group down .17, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down .14, National Australia dropped two cents and Westpac Bank was down .24.

Among the coal stocks, Centennial Coal was down .09, Felix Resources was down .29 and Macarthur Coal was down .12.

In overseas trading, U.S. stocks put in a mixed performance on Monday. A half hour before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 8.61 points or 0.10 percent at 8,289.35, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 14.19 points or 0.79 percent at 1,782.28 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 1.81 points or 0.20 percent at 894.61.

Most of the major markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed lower on Monday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average fell 135.20 points or 1.30 percent to 9,680.87.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 223.99 points or 1.23 percent to 17,979.41.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index closed up 36.30 points or 1.18 percent at 3,124.67.

India's BSE 30 index was down 869.65 points or 5.83 percent at 14,043.40.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia was down 40.29 points or 1.94 percent at 2.035.01.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was up 8.90 points or 0.63 percent at 1,428.94.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 15.49 points or 0.23 percent at 6,649.91.

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