Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,970 as of 12:14 p.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,314.40 in Wellington.
The following are among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining stocks: Copper prices fell from a 20-month high in New York yesterday on concern a rally was exaggerated.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, lost 0.8 percent to A$44.10. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) declined 0.5 percent to A$80.24.
South Korean steelmakers plan to ask their Japanese rivals today to join them in opposing price increases sought by global iron-ore and coal suppliers, South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
Oil companies: Crude oil fell for a fifth day today. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, lost 1 percent to A$47.30. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), the third largest, fell 1.3 percent to A$14.73.
Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ABC AU) rose 1.4 percent to A$2.85. The Australian producer of construction materials had its rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG.
Alumina Ltd. (AWC AU) slumped 4 percent to A$1.805 after venture partner Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates.
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. (ERA AU)) fell 5.6 percent to A$18.59. The uranium producer controlled by Rio Tinto said prices in the first half of 2010 may be lower than previously expected.
Iress Market Technology Ltd. (IRE AU) climbed 3.5 percent to A$8.84. The financial information provider had its rating raised to “hold” from “sell’ by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Macarthur Coal Ltd. (MCC AU) declined 1.6 percent to A$16.25. The Australian producer said two of its major shareholders hadn’t declared their intentions with regard to the Gloucester Coal Ltd. takeover proposal.
OneSteel Ltd. (OST AU) dropped 2.7 percent to A$3.99. Australia’s second-largest producer of the alloy said a failure at its Whyalla blast furnace at the weekend has caused a stoppage while repairs are carried out.
To contact the reporters for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org.