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Stocks to watch

BHP - BHP GROUP - up 58 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $41.74

The world's biggest miner has reported a rebound in iron ore output in the fourth quarter after a cyclone hit production in March, and forecast modest output growth in 2019/20 amid a surge in prices.

"We finished the 2019 financial year with an 11 per cent increase in quarterly production, driven by strong operational performances across our portfolio, including annual production records at a number of our petroleum, copper, iron ore and metallurgical coal operations," BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said.

ELD - ELDERS - up 99.5 cents, or 16.4 per cent, to $7.05

Elders shares were at the highest level since November after it emerged from a trading halt having raised $100 million to fund its $157 million acquisition of wholesale buying group Australian Independent Rural Retailers.

Elders says the buyout will give it a wholesale platform of scale and realise net synergies of about $8 million a year.

ASB - AUSTAL - up 40 cents, or 11.2 per cent, to $3.96

Shares in the world's largest aluminium shipbuilder hit an all-time high after Austal said said it expects to earn no less than $105 million this fiscal year, up from the unaudited $92 million it booked in fiscal 2019.

A trebling of production capacity at its shipyard in the Philippines and the establishment of a leased shipyard in Vietnam had paid off, Austal said, with a substantial order book of commercial ferry contracts.

Also, its two major vessel programs for the US Navy were continuing to perform strongly.

CSL - CSL LIMITED - up $1.49, or 0.7 per cent, to $224.08

The Melbourne-based global biotech company has appointed Anjana Narain as executive vice president and general manager of its Seqirus business, which is one of the world's largest influenza vaccine providers.

EHE - ESTIA HEALTH - down 16 cents, or 5.8 per cent, to $2.61

The aged care provider is preparing to defend itself against a class action suit alleging it deceived investors when it assured shareholders in 2015 and 2016 its growth strategy was "on track" despite troubles integrating its newly purchased Kennedy Health Care.

IVC - INVOCARE - down 11 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $16.24

The funeral service operator has agreed to buy Australian Heritage Funerals, based in Toowoomba, Queensland, for an undisclosed sum.

The family-owned business performs about 300 funerals a year, with annual revenues of about $2 million.

SYR - SYRAH RESOURCES - up 2.5 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to $1.055

The graphite miner said minor equipment issues had impacted production at its Balama mine in Mozambique during the three months to June 30, but in a quarterly report highlighted its plans to ramp-up production while keeping costs low.

Syrah shares crashed initially but ended the day higher.