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Stocks to watch at close on Thursday

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Stocks to watch

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AAP

2012-03-29

Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Thursday:

ANZ - ANZ BANKING GROUP LTD - up one cent at $23.46

CBA - COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA - up seven cents at $50.45

NAB - NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LTD - up five cents at $24.99

WBC - WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION - down six cents at $21.88

he big four banks are capable of cutting interest rates on loans in April while protecting their profits thanks to lower funding costs.

AWC - ALUMINA LTD - down one cent at $1.20

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's says the high Australian dollar and low aluminium prices are putting Alumina's earnings under pressure.

BPT - BEACH ENERGY LTD - down six cents at $1.495

Oil and gas producer Beach Energy says it has successfully secured $267 million in the first stage of a $345 million capital raising.

LEI - LEIGHTON HOLDINGS LTD - down $1.59 at $22.16

Leighton shares have dropped by more than seven per cent after the construction company cut its full year profit forecast because of additional losses from its Brisbane Airport Link and Victorian desalination plant works.

MQG - MACQUARIE GROUP LTD - down 48 cents at $29.44

CQO - CHARTER HALL OFFICE REIT - steady at $3.07

Macquarie Group is swapping its swanky Sydney office for one of the city's most prestigious buildings.

RIO - RIO TINTO LTD - down 17 cents at $64.36

Rio Tinto may sell its specialty aluminas business after receiving an offer from private investment firm HIG.

TCL - TRANSURBAN GROUP - down five cents at $5.62

Toll road operator Transurban has confirmed its full year distribution guidance despite what it says is a difficult operating environment.

TLS - TELSTRA CORPORATION LTD - up two cents at $3.30

NBN Co Ltd boss Mike Quigley says the launch of the three-year rollout schedule for the high speed national broadband network (NBN) is a "turning point" for the federal government telecommunications project.