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Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange:

ANZ – ANZ BANKING GROUP – down 79.5 cents, or 2.8 per cent, at $27.945

CBA – COMMONWEALTH BANK – down $1.945, or 2.4 per cent, at $77.855

NAB – NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK – down 69 cents, or 2.4 per cent, at $28.50

WBC – WESTPAC BANKING CORP – down 98 cents, or 3.1 per cent, at $30.33

Australia’s leading banks suffer amid the ‘bloodbath’ hitting the world’s key share markets, including local indexes.

BHP – BHP BILLITON – down 86 cents, or 2.85 per cent, at $29.29

Activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors has renewed its push for a restructure of BHP Billiton, asking the company’s board to immediately review its dual listed company structure.

HVN – HARVEY NORMAN – down 11.5 cents, or 2.6 per cent, at $4.255

JBH – JB HI-FI – down 65 cents, or 3.3 per cent, at $27.22

MYR – MYER – down 0.75 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at 64.25 cents

Retail spending has slowed more than expected with household goods, department stores and apparel sales all falling in December.

MQG – MACQUARIE GROUP – down $5.62, or 5.4 per cent, at $97.74

Macquarie Group expects to lift full-year profit by about 10 per cent on last year’s record $2.2 billion.