ANZ, BHP, National Bank, Newcrest, Rio, Sigma: 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 dropped 0.7 percent to 4,937 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.6 percent to 4,954.30. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index slipped 0.8 percent.

Mining stocks: A measure of metals traded in London fell 0.8 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, declined 0.2 percent to A$42.73. Its American depositary receipts fell 1.1 percent in New York. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) was little changed at A$78.52 in Sydney.

Gold producers: Gold rose the most in two weeks in New York on skepticism that a Greek aid package will resolve that nation’s debt.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, advanced 0.7 percent to A$33.97. Lihir Gold Ltd. (LGL AU), the second-largest gold mining company on the Australian stock exchange, rose 1 percent to A$3.92.

Oil companies: Crude oil for June delivery fell 0.9 percent to $83.07 a barrel at 11:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, climbed 1.2 percent to A$46.87. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), the third largest, advanced 0.2 percent to A$14.21.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU): The Australian lender expanding in Asia is considering bidding for the controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank being sold by Lone Star Funds, a person with knowledge of the plan said. ANZ shares rose 1.1 percent to A$25.40.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU): The bank has ruled out selling the Aviva units it recently acquired to help it win regulator approval for its bid for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd., the Australian newspaper reported, citing a memo from executive Steve Tucker. National Australia shares fell 1.3 percent to A$28.46.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SIP AU): The company’s lenders may force it to sell A$100 million of assets by March to cut debt, the Australian Financial Review reported, without saying where it got the information. Sigma shares gained 2.1 percent to 48.5 Australian cents.

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

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