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Last updated 08:00 26/06/2014

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What you need to know on Thursday morning, June 26

- NZX50 down 16.664 points (0.33 per cent) to 5104.541

- NZ dollar at US87.35 cents, A92.99c, 88.93yen, 51.43p, 63.91€c

- Brent crude oil at US$114.08 a barrel (down US38c)

- Spot gold at US$1321.80 an ounce

What's on today

- Live chat on stuff.co.nz at noon with NZIER principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub

- Restaurant Brands is holding its AGM at 11am at the Ellerslie Convention Centre in Auckland

- Turners & Growers is holding its AGM at 2pm, also at the Ellerslie Convention Centre

Stocks to watch

- Hallenstein Glasson: The clothing retailer announced just before the close of trading yesterday that despite the warm winter in Australasia, its sales and margin for the period February 2 to June 22 are marginally ahead of the corresponding period last year. June sales are tracking 2 per cent up on last year, bucking the recent trend that has seen retailers such as The Warehouse and Kathmandu signal profit downgrades due to the warm weather affecting winter sales.

Top international news

- US stocks edged higher on Wednesday as investors continued to find value in equities over other asset classes despite the latest economic data coming in below expectations.

The US economy contracted in the first quarter at a 2.9 per cent annual rate, a much steeper pace than previously estimated, though activity was affected by a harsh winter, and there are indications that growth has since rebounded. In another negative data point, US orders for durable goods unexpectedly fell 1 per cent in May.

Futures initially fell on the news, but Wall Street showed signs of strength in early trading. The Dow and the S&P 500 remain within striking distance of record levels.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 32.24 points or 0.19 per cent, to 16,850.37. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.74 points or 0.29 per cent, to 1,955.72. The Nasdaq Composite .IXICadded 16.61 points or 0.38 per cent, to 4,366.97.

The S&P 500 hit an intraday record high on Tuesday before concerns over Iraq turned indexes sharply lower in afternoon trading. Those tensions remained in focus after militants in Iraq attacked one of the country's largest air bases. The first US teams arrived to help Iraqi security forces counter the violence.

Something else for your morning

- Contact Energy's name may sound ironic to customers finding that the company is very difficult to, well, contact. Customers are resorting to Twitter and Facebook to try and contact Contact, and one frustrated customer has complained of 40-minute waits on the phone and hasn't received a power bill since March. A company spokesman said the root of the issue was a new computer system, with Contact replacing 20-year-old computer systems with a single integrated system at Easter.

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