Australian, New Zealand Stocks: Equinox, Fortescue, Macarthur, News Corp

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.9 percent to 4,994.70 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.8 percent to 3,335.51 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Australia:

Mining stocks: Copper futures for May delivery advanced 1 percent to $3.6005 a pound in New York yesterday, and as much as 0.4 percent today.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 0.3 percent to A$43.99. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) climbed 0.8 percent to A$80.10.

Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN AU) fell 1.9 percent to A$4.57 after the company, which owns Africa’s biggest copper mine, was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU) rose 2.5 percent to A$5.34. The iron-ore producer was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG. Separately, the spot price for Chinese iron-ore imports rose 2.8 percent to $172.10 a dry metric ton for so-called percent fines, the Steel Index said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Mineral Resources Ltd. (MIN AU), which provides crushing services to the mining industry, gained 2.8 percent to A$8 after the company was rated new “overweight” at Morgan Stanley.

News Corp. (NWS AU) surged 2.5 percent to A$19.42. MySpace may add a subscription music service this year as News Corp. seeks to boost revenue from online content, Jon Miller, head of digital operations, said yesterday. Separately, 12 broadcasting groups including News Corp.’s Fox are forming a joint venture for a national mobile-content service.

New Zealand:

Nuplex Industries Ltd. (NPX NZ), a New Zealand resin manufacturer, dropped 2 percent to NZ$3.40 after regulators alleged it breached disclosure rules.

To contact the reporters for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

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