Australia, New Zealand Stocks: Atlas Iron, Biota, Rio Tinto, Flight Centre

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.8 percent to 4,785.60 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.1 percent to 3,282.27 in Wellington.

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


Mining stocks: Materials stocks fell amid concern Europe’s deficit crisis is widening, potentially derailing a global economic recovery.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.4 percent to A$40.50. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) fell 2.5 percent to A$72.59. Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (MBN AU) slipped 2.3 percent to A$2.57.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU), the Australian bank expanding in Asia, dropped 2.6 percent to A$24.20. Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith confirmed the lender is considering buying a 51 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank. Separately, ANZ said fiscal first-half profit jumped 36 percent.

Atlas Iron Ltd. (AGO AU), an iron-ore producer, slumped 6.7 percent to A$2.51. The Australian iron-ore producer buying smaller rival Aurox Resources Ltd. will raise A$63.5 million ($59 million) selling new shares to fund mine expansion in the Pilbara district.

Biota Holdings Ltd. (BTA AU), a drugmaker, tumbled 23 percent to A$1.475 after the company, which got more than half of its revenue last year in royalties from GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s flu drug Relenza, said third-quarter royalties fell 70 percent.

Flight Centre Ltd. (FLT AU) climbed 2.1 percent to A$20. Australia’s largest travel agency was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

New Zealand:

Lyttelton Port Co. (LPC NZ) jumped 6.5 percent to NZ$2.45 after the company said its major shareholder backed a merger with rival Port Otago Ltd.

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

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