Stocks to watch on Wednesday

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

BHP - BHP BILLITON - up 34 cents, or 1.18 per cent, to $29.16

Mining giant BHP Billiton has been hit with a $US25 million fine for violating a bribery law by treating foreign officials to trips to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

JHX - JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES - up $1.335, or 8.77 per cent, to $16.555

Sales growth in Australia, Europe and the US has helped James Hardie boost its annual profit to $US291 million ($A369.57 million).

FDC - FEDERATION CENTRES - up 2.5 cents, or 0.825 per cent, to $3.055

NVN - NOVION - up 1.5 cents, or 0.59 per cent, to $2.535

The competition watchdog will not oppose a merger of two major shopping centre owners, as long as one of them offloads a centre in south east Melbourne.

QFX - QUICKFLIX - down 0.1 cents, or 33.33 per cent, to 0.2 cents

Film and TV streaming service Quickflix has raised $775,000 from investors as it strives to compete with new competitors like Netflix.

WPL - WOODSIDE PETROLEUM - up 36 cents, or 1.04 per cent, to $34.69

Woodside Petroleum is speeding up its cost cutting program after slashing 800 jobs, but says it will invest in growth ahead of a major decision on its key Browse project.

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