AMP, BHP, Flight Centre, Newcrest, Rio, Seven: Australian Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. The preview includes news announced after markets shut yesterday unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract expiring in June rose 0.7 percent to 4,947 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.4 percent to 4,915.10. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index dropped 0.7 percent.

Mining stocks: Copper prices fell to a three-week low as investors sold riskier assets including commodities after U.S. regulators sued Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for alleged fraud.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.6 percent to A$42.84. Its American depositary receipts declined 0.7 percent in New York. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) slumped 2.2 percent to A$77.96 in Sydney.

Gold producers: Gold dropped to the lowest price in almost two weeks in New York. Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, lost 1.8 percent to A$34. Lihir Gold Ltd. (LGL AU), the second-largest gold mining company on the Australian stock exchange, slipped 0.5 percent to A$3.96.

Oil companies: Crude oil fell to a three-week low in New York. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, dropped 1.6 percent to A$45.97. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), the third largest, declined 2.3 percent to A$14.09.

Santos and Caltex Australia Ltd. (CTX AU), an oil-refining company, were both downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. Caltex shares sank 3.7 percent to A$12.06.

AMP Ltd. (AMP AU): Australia’s second-largest asset manager may bid again for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AXA AU)) after regulators blocked a competing A$13.3 billion ($12.2 billion) offer from National Australia Bank Ltd. AMP shares dropped 0.9 percent to A$6.40. National Australia fell 1 percent to A$28.08.

Separately, AXA Asia Pacific Holdings was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The shares fell 0.5 percent to A$6.34.

Flight Centre Ltd. (FLT AU): Australia’s largest travel agency was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse and to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS. Flight Center shares slumped 2.8 percent to A$20.80.

Macarthur Coal Ltd. (MCC AU): Noble Group Ltd. shareholders rejected Macarthur Coal’s planned takeover of Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU), potentially removing Noble from a three-way battle for Macarthur. Macarthur shares were unchanged at A$16.54. Gloucester Coal retreated 0.7 percent to A$12.10.

Seven Network Ltd. (SEV AU): Seven shares may decline 20 percent if its proposed takeover of WesTrac Holdings Pty Ltd. fails, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing two unnamed investment banks working on the deal. Seven shares lost 0.5 percent to A$7.74.

To contact the reporters for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

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