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Stocks to watch: DGL, GPG, NZO, OGC, PGG, WHS

Stocks to watch: DGL, GPG, NZO, OGC, PGG, WHS

Dec. 10 (BusinessDesk) – 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: Global stocks rose after a cautiously optimist U.S. labour report helped support demand for equities. First-time claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week and the four-week moving average dropped to a two-year low. In late afternoon trade the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.2% to 1,230.6, while in Europe the Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% to 275.93 at the close.

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, increased its forecast milk price for the 2010/11 season to $6.90 per kilogram of milksolids from $6.60 previously. The New Zealand dollar held near a decade-low against the Australian currency after an unexpected rise in job across the Tasman saw the Aussie dollar rise. The kiwi was last at 75.97 Australian cents from 75.82 cents yesterday, and fell to 74.64 U.S. cents from 74.83 cents.

Delegat's Group (DGL): The winemaker is rated a 'buy' according to Forsyth Barr's Rob Mercer, quoted on the ShareChat website. The company recently reaffirmed its profit guidance of between $23 million and $26 million for the year ending June, and Mercer said he expects the company will achieve earnings towards the upper end of the range despite challenging conditions in the wine market. Shares rose 4.2% yesterday to $1.98.

Guinness Peat Group (GPG): Sir Ron Brierley has stepped down as chairman of the investment holdings company, but will retain will stay on the board as an independent director. Mark Johnson, one of four independent directors brought in to help develop a new strategy for the ailing investment company in September, will assume the chair. Brierley foreshadowed his exit in 2008, saying he planned to step down this year, though this was put off as the company struggled to make a return to shareholders. Shares were unchanged yesterday at 70 cents.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO): The energy exploration and production company rose 3.4% yesterday to 91 cents, after oil held continued to trade above the key US$90 mark amid signs that the global economy is trending towards recovery. Brent Crude was last trading at US$ 90.64 a barrel.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The gold miner fell 0.2% yesterday to $4.49 as signs that the U.S. economy was heading to recovery, reducing demand for safe haven assets such as gold bullion. The metal was last trading at US$1,386.21 an ounce, well below the recent record highs.

PGG Wrightson Ltd. (PGC): PGG Wrightson Finance, a unit of the rural services group, said it will lend funds to farmers looking to subscribe for shares in grower-owned Wool Partners Co-operative. The number of farmers signing up has slowed, with a harsh winter and poor lambing putting pressure on finances. The cooperative is looking to raise $65 million from wool growers who would have to pay $1 a share and agree to supply it exclusively for five years. Shares rose 4.2% to 50 cents yesterday.

Warehouse Group (WHS): New Zealand's biggest listed retailer rose 0.3% yesterday to $3.80 amid signs that consumers are loosening the grip on their wallets as the economy edges towards recovery. Numbers released by Statistics New Zealand today show seasonally adjusted electronic card transactions at retailers rose 1.1% in November, after climbing 1.2% in the previous month. Spending was led by 1.4% increase in retail transactions. Core retail spending, which excludes motor vehicle-related industries, rose 1% compared to October.

(BusinessDesk) 09:39:46

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