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Stocks to watch: CHA, NZX, OGC, PPL, SKC, TWR

Stocks to watch: CHA, NZX, OGC, PPL, SKC, TWR

Aug. 4 (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: The household labour force survey for the second quarter is out today, with economists expecting the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 6.6%. The participation rate may fall to 68.4% in the three month period from 68.7% previously, according to a Reuters survey, as more people return to work but fail to find work. Global markets for the most part continued to retreat, although Wall Street managed to snap its biggest slide so far this year.

Charlie's Group (CHA): Japanese brewer Asahi has extended the closing date of its offer for the juice and soft drink make by 14 days until Sept. 2. The company's 44 cents a share bid, which is conditional on gaining a 90% stake in the company, has netted it about 75% of the target's shares so far. CHA shares were unchanged yesterday at 44 cents.

NZX Ltd. (NZX): The Financial Markets Authority said it will be taking no action against the securities market operator over disclosures relating to its troubled investment in the Australian Clear Grain Exchange. NZX shares fell 3% yesterday to $2.30.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The sharp decline on global equity markets recently has seen gold prices spike as investors look for safe haven assets. The hedge metal was last trading at US$1,663.49 an ounce, having peaked at US$1,672.65 overnight. Shares in OGC, the gold miner, fell 1.4% to $2.86.

Pumpkin Patch Ltd. (PPL): Consumer facing companies in Australia look set to face a prolonged soft patch after retail sales fell unexpectedly in June as consumers continued keep a tight hold on their spending amid rising global economic uncertainty. Official data showed retail sales fell by 0.1% in the month, short of the 0.4% increase expected. Shares in PPL, which counts Australia as a major market, fell 2.9% yesterday to $1.45.

SkyCity Entertainment Group (SKC): Former New Zealand Rugby Union head Chris Moller has been tapped to take over chairman of the casino and hotel operator when Rod McGeoch retires at the 2012 annual shareholders’ meeting. SKC shares fell 1.4% yesterday to $3.60.

Tower Ltd. (TWR): The general insurer's KiwiSaver business could receive a shot in the arm if a government plan to force all workers who have not already joined to sign up goes ahead. It's estimated that the move could see up to a million people enrolled in the retirement savings scheme. TWR shares fell 1.4% yesterday to $1.45.


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