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Stocks to watch: AIR, FBU, NPX, NZO, NZX, SKC

Stocks to watch: AIR, FBU, NPX, NZO, NZX, SKC

Aug. 18 (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: With no local data today, the market will take its leads from offshore developments and the release of corporate earnings, with Port of Tauranga Ltd. and Wellington Drive Technologies Ltd. set to release their annual results today. Global markets eked out a positive close amid volatile trading, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gaining 0.09% to 1193.88, and Europe's Stoxx 600 rising 0.2% to 238.05. The 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index rose 1.2% to 334.19.

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR): The national carrier's operations are expected to receive an added boost during the Rugby World Cup, after tournament organisers raised their original estimates of visitor numbers by 60%, with 85,000 to 95,000 fans now expected to arrive for the tournament. AIR shares rose 0.9% yesterday to $1.11.

Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU): The country's biggest construction firm said it's targeting its hoping to secure a tunnel infrastructure project worth $1.2 billion which should help offset the moribund home building market, according to Fairfax Media. The announcement on the Auckland tunnel project is expected to be made today. FBU shares rose 1.7% yesterday to $7.86.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Oil prices have begun to track upwards as investors interest in growth-linked assets continue to rise in the wake of last week's mass selloff on equity markets. ICE Brent Crude futures recently traded at US$110.78 a barrel, up from their August low of US$102.57 a barrel. NZO shares were unchanged yesterday at 62 cents.

Nuplex Industries Ltd. (NPX): The industrial chemicals and resins maker announced today that it has entered into an agreement to buy Acquos’s Masterbatch business, an Australia provider of concentrated pigments and additives to the plastics industry. No financial details around the transaction were disclosed. NPX shares were unchanged yesterday at 57 cents.

NZX Ltd. (NZX): The securities market operator is said to be considering launching a rainfall futures product, which would give investors a hedge against extreme weather, according to a Fairfax Media report. The company said the idea is still in the "formative stages". NZX shares fell 0.9% to $2.18 yesterday.

SkyCity Entertainment Group (SKC): The casino and hotel operator says the Rugby World Cup could add an additional $20 million to its bottom line. The company said it expects to reach full capacity at its hotels during the event. SKC shares fell 0.4% yesterday to $5.75.

(BusinessDesk)

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