Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Tuesday:
FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - up 0.5 cents, or 0.09 per cent, at $5.575
Fortescue Metals Group says it's in a position to comfortably repay debt without having to do joint ventures or sell assets as the price of iron ore remains strong.
GNC - GRAINCORP - down 9.00 cents, or 1.07 per cent, at $8.32
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has backed the "national interest" argument against a $3.4 billion foreign takeover of Australia's largest grains handler, saying it could have driven down local wheat prices and hurt farmers.
RIO - RIO TINTO - down 41 cents, or 0.62 per cent, at $65.44
Rio Tinto has announced it will slash capital expenditure by nearly half from $US14 billion ($A15.42 billion) currently to $8 billion by 2015 in what it says it good news for shareholders.
SGP - STOCKLAND - up 3.5 cents, or 0.92 per cent, at $3.835
Australian retail sales and the housing market are improving, says property and shopping centre developer Stockland.
VAH - VIRGIN AUSTRALIA - up 0.5 cents, or 1.30 per cent, at 39 cents
Virgin Australia will proceed with its planned $350 million equity raising after the move received the green light from the Takeovers Panel.