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Stocks to watch: F&P Healthcare, ING, LPC, Warehouse

Thursday 21st January 2010

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The New Zealand dollar has extended its slide since data yesterday showed inflation is more benign than many economists were expecting, reducing pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates soon.

Stocks tumbled on Wall Street on concern lending curbs in China will dent global demand. Investors are mulling the implications of the Tax Working Group’s report on tax reforms which drove down shares of property trusts yesterday. 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ): The manufacturer of breathing masks and respirators gets almost 80% of its revenue in U.S. dollars so the company benefits from a weaker currency when it brings home sales. The kiwi has shed almost 2 U.S. cents (CHECK) in the past 24 hours. 

ING Property Trust (NZX: ING ): The trust led a decline in property investors yesterday that sent the NZSX Property Group Index down 1.6% after a report by the Tax Working Group recommended axing depreciation deductions for buildings where evidence shows they don't decline in value, a move that could generate $1.3 billion in new tax revenue every year. ING fell 2.5% to 77 cents.

Lyttelton Port Co. (NZX: LPC ): The NZX reported Christchurch City Holdings to the Securities Commission over concerns about shares bought in the South Island’s biggest port company in the run-up to Christmas, the NZ Herald reported. CCH bought 45,500 shares between Dec. 11 and Dec. 24, after the port received an independent report on the possible merger with Otago Port. The shares were unchanged at $2.40 yesterday and have fallen almost 8% in the past three months. 

Skellerup Holdings (NZX: SKL ): The rubber goods manufacturer that was dropped from the NZX 50 index this week will be waiting to see how the manufacturing sector is faring when the Bank of New Zealand-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing index comes out this morning. The series showed the sector expanded in November for the first time since late 2007 last month. Shares in Skellerup rose 1 cent to 49 cents in trading yesterday. 

Warehouse Group (NZX: WHS ): The biggest retailer on the NZX 50 fell 2.3% to $3.79 yesterday, the lowest since July last year. The shares have declined since chief executive Ian Morrice said this month that Christmas sales hadn’t been as robust as hoped and first-half earnings would be flat. “Retail figures are not particularly exciting,” said Alan Moore, who helps manage $400 million at Milford Asset Management. 

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