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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 2nd 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: US manufacturing expanded in June, with the Institute for Supply Management's factory index rising above 50 for the first time in five months. Crude oil traded at $140.97 a barrel, having reached a record $143.67 this week. Gold, wheat and copper gained. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said New Zealand GDP will be flat in the second quarter and growth will pick up later this year, Reuters reported, citing Central Bank News.

Hellaby Holdings (HBY): Shares of the diversified investor soared 20% yesterday after the company sold its ailing BBQ Factory chain and said it was upbeat about most other business units.

Heritage Gold NZ (HGD): Gold rose 1.7% to $944.50 an ounce in New York, the highest close in about 10 weeks. Heritage fell 1 cent to 37 cents yesterday. OceanaGold Corp (OGC) jumped 10 cents to NZ$1.30.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The company with a 12.5% interest in the Tui oilfield yesterday said it expects more shareholders will have taken up their options, buoyed by high oil prices and a strike price of NZ$1.50. The shares reached a record NZ$1.86 yesterday. The options expired on Monday though the company said some applications may still be in the post.

PGG Wrightson (PGW): Some analysts are skeptical that the rural services company will achieve the NZ$100 million-a-year savings it estimates can be achieved from buying a 50% stake in Silver Fern Farms, the meat cooperative formerly known as PPCS, the Dominion Post reported.

Telecom Corp (TEL): The largest company on the benchmark NZX 50 Index fell yesterday to a 15-year low NZ$3.43 as a contracting economy and waning offshore demand for New Zealand stocks drove prices lower.

By Jonathan Underhill

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