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Stocks to watch: IFT, NZO, NZX, OGC, PGW, TLS

Tuesday 6th September 2011

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day: With little local economic data, the equity market will be taking its cue from offshore leads. U.S. financial markets closed for the Labour Day holiday the focus fell on European shares, with the Stoxx 600 Index falling 4.1% to 223.45 on global growth fears.

Traders will also be waiting for the Reserve Bank of Australia's rates announcement later this afternoon. The central bank is expected to keep rates on hold at 4.75%, although economists are betting the recent global market turmoil will force the bank to trim its recent run of hawkish rhetoric.

Infratil Ltd. (IFT): The Commerce Commission has invited interested parties to submit their comments on iSite's proposed $10 million acquisition of outdoor media company O.T.W Advertising. Should the process proceed as scheduled, the antitrust regulator said it hopes to publish its decision on the deal in early October. Shares in Infratil, which owns iSite, were unchanged yesterday at $1.72.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO): Rising fears that the global economy is sliding back into recession has seen oil prices remain under pressure, with ICE Brent Crude futures falling to US$109.92 a barrel, down from US$111.27 yesterday. Shares in NZO, the energy exploration and production company, rose 1.5% to 68 cents.

NZX Ltd. (NZX): The volume of trading doubled on the NZX’s exchange in August, a month when global market volatility was heightened by Standard & Poor’s downgrade to America’s credit rating. The total number of trades rose more than 100% to 85,992 last month compared to the same month a year ago. NZX shares fell 1.2% yesterday to $2.32.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The gold miner's shares rose 1.8% yesterday to $2.90 on the NZX as gold prices continued to soar. The precious metal recently traded at US$1,900.05 an ounce, up from 1,892.69 previously, with the price near historic highs on the back of safe haven buying.

PGG Wrightson Ltd. (PGW): The government has withdrawn the rural services company’s finance unit from the Crown Deposit Guarantee scheme now that it has been acquired by would-be bank Heartland New Zealand. Heartland's deposit insurance, which was extended to Dec. 31, will now cover the PGGW Wrightson Finance. PGW shares fell 2.2% yesterday to 45 cents.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): Australian government is looking to raise the fine on telephone and internet companies for missing performance benchmarks to as much as $$1 million per infringement. Telstra, the Australia's biggest phone company and de facto universal service provider, faces the greater exposure to the increased fines. TLS shares fell 1.3% yesterday to $3.80 on the NZX.


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