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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 22nd July 2008

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading yesterday.

Themes of the day: Crude oil rose from a six-week low on the New York Mercantile Exchange, in its first gain in five days. Prices of gold and silver also rose. The New Zealand dollar is trading near a seven-year low against the currency of Australia, the nation's biggest export market.

Affco Holdings (AFF): The meat processor's stock has gained almost 16% since Dairy Trust this month offered to buy the 47.6% of Open Country Cheese Co that it doesn't already own as part of a deal with Singapore-based agricultural products distributor Olam International. Affco owns 44% of Dairy Trust.

Briscoe Group (BGR), Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG), Michael Hill International (MHI), Postie Plus Group (PPG), Pumpkin Patch (PPL), Smiths City Group (SCY), Warehouse Group (WHS): Figures yesterday showed retail electronic card transactions fell 0.4% in June from May, seasonally adjusted, adding to evidence of a consumer spending slump.

Contact Energy (CEN): Shares of the biggest utility on stock exchange rose to a three-week high yesterday. The stock has outperformed the benchmark index this year, being little changed while the NZX 50 fell 22%. The stock gained yesterday after the company announced plans for a NZ$500 million wind farm and the Takeovers Panel said it was preparing for a possible takeover should BG Group Plc succeed in acquiring Contact's parent Origin Energy.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Oil snapped its five-day losing streak on the New York Mercantile Exchange to reach US$131.04 a barrel.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): Philippines Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila De Lima confirmed her agency is investigating claims of human rights abuses of indigenous groups living in the vicinity of mining operations of Oceana Gold Philippines Inc.

By Jonathan Underhill

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