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Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange:

ANZ – ANZ BANKING GROUP – down 30 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $28.04

CBA – COMMONWEALTH BANK – down 62 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $75.93

NAB – NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK – down 34 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $29.64

WBC – WESTPAC BANKING CORP – down 29.5 cents, or 1 per cent, at $29.645

The consumer watchdog says there are “signs of less-than-vigorous price competition” on mortgages between the big four banks, and they make it difficult for customers to compare rates.

BHP – BHP BILLITON – up 14.5 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $28.785

FMG – FORTESCUE METALS GROUP – up 3 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $4.78

RIO – RIO TINTO – up 67 cents, or 0.9 per cent, ar $75.27

Iron ore prices have improved, ending an eight session losing streak, due to stronger than expected economic data out of China.

NCM – NEWCREST MINING -up 3.5 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $20.005

Newcrest has confirmed it will miss its full-year production guidance and will be unable to satisfy contracts for copper concentrate product, because it closed its Cadia mine in central west NSW after cracks were found in its tailings dam wall.