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Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange:

BHP – BHP BILLITON – up 16 cents, or 0.55 per cent, at $29.51

FMG – FORTESCUE METALS GROUP – up 4.0 cents, or 0.82 per cent, at $4.94

RIO – RIO TINTO – up 27 cents, or 0.36 per cent, at $74.89

The price of iron ore slipped marginally, but copper rose

HVN – HARVEY NORMAN – unchanged at $4.17

JBH – JB HI-FI – down 11 cents, or 0.44 per cent, at $25.08

MYR – MYER – down 1.5 cents, or 2.33 per cent, at 63 cents

Shares in major retailers gave up some of the ground they made at the start of the post-Christmas sales period

ORG – ORIGIN ENERGY – up 8 cents, or 0.85 per cent, at $9.53

OSH – OIL SEARCH – up 4 cents, or 0.52 per cent, at $7.80

STO – SANTOS – up 2 cents, or 0.37 per cent, at $5.41

WPL – WOODSIDE PETROLEUM – up 25 cents, or 0.76 per cent, at $33.17

Energy stocks rose despite oil prices slipping from a near two-and-a-half-year high in the previous session as a rally fuelled by supply outages in Libya and the North Sea ran out of momentum.