New Zealand's share market ignored a weak finish on Wall Street and concern about China to open firmer, boosted by a string of strong corporate earnings.

In the first few minutes of trade, the S&P/NZX50 index was up 28 points (0.5 per cent), led by post-result gains from Air NZ, Ebos and Metlifecare.

Overnight, China's moves to shore up its economy helped lend support to European share markets but America's Dow Jones Index swung through a wide range to end lower.

"We might buck the trend today but I would not be surprised to see some shakiness in other markets across the region," Mark Lister at Craigs Investment Partners said.


Air New Zealand, after reporting a 24 per cent lift in net profit to $327 million, saw its share price rally by 9.5c to $2.74.

China's central bank cut official interest rates on Tuesday and lowered the amount of reserves banks must hold as it tried to shore up a faltering economy and plunging share market.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said it was cutting the one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.6 per cent, reducing one-year benchmark deposit rates by the same amount, and cutting reserve requirements by 50 basis points to 18 per cent for most big banks.

The New Zealand sharemarket ended Tuesday's session with slight gain after at one point being down by 2.5 per cent, helped in part by a strong performance on the Australian share market, which closed 2.6 per cent higher.

China's moves assisted confidence in the main European markets, with the FTSE100 index rising by 3 per cent and Germany's DAX index gaining 5 per cent.

Closer to China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index firmed by 0.7 per cent, but the market at the centre of it all Shanghai - fell sharply again - this time 7.6 per cent after dropping by 8 per cent on Monday.

Trading on Wall Street was extremely volatile, with the Dow Jones industrial index firming at one point by 440 points, only to lose all its gains and finish 1.3 per cent down as investors re-assessed their risks.

"It's really been a re-pricing of equity risk that is occurring," Andrew Bascand, managing director and portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management said.


"As a result we have had a marking down of equities prices around the world," he said.

"We can't really expect the markets to bounce back to where they were," he said.

In the currency market, New Zealand dollar stabilised following a period of volatile trading as investor confidence about weakness in China abated.

The kiwi slipped to US64.78c from US64.97c at 5pm on Tuesday, having traded between US62.44c and US67.07c over the past five days.

(additional reporting BusinessDesk)