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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Monday 7th 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: New Zealand consumer confidence dropped to a record low in the two weeks through June 29, according to a Roy Morgan poll. A record-high 33% of those surveyed expect to be worse off in 12 month’s time. US crude oil eased to $143.85 a barrel Friday, below the record $145.85 hit on Thursday. The contract has risen more than 50% this year.

Air New Zealand (AIR): New Zealand’s national airline is in a strong position to weather soaring fuel costs because it has about NZ$1.2 billion in cash, low gearing and no planned major aircraft purchases until 2010, the Dominion Post reported, citing CEO Rob Fyfe. More airfare increases seem inevitable and the industry faces consolidation if fuel prices don’t abate, he said.

Austral Pacific Energy (APX): The oil explorer said it was “very disappointed” that latest results from its Cheal-A6 and Cheal-A6ST didn’t yield commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. It also said Origin Energy suspended processing raw gas from Cheal because of inadequate supplies from other sources.

OceanaGold Corp (OGC): Gold and copper fell in London on Friday. Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.2% to $932.38 an ounce, narrowing last week's gain to 0.5%.

Telecom Corp (TEL): the largest company on the NZX 50 Index rose from a 15-year low on Friday. At its current price, the stock has a dividend yield of 15%, three times as much as Contact Energy, the second-largest stock on the index.

Warehouse Group (WHS), Briscoe Group (BGR), Kirkaldie & Stains (KRK): consumer confidence slumped to a record low, according to a Roy Morgan poll. The percentage of people saying it is a bad time to buy a major household item rose to 49% from 45% in the previous two week poll.

By Jonathan Underhill

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