Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Fleetwood, Rio, Santos, Telecom, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 3 percent to 4,265.30 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 1.9 percent to 3,003.83 in Wellington.

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


Mining shares: Three-month delivery copper on the London Metal Exchange dropped for the first time in four days, losing 1.7 percent to $6,790 a metric ton at 1:10 p.m. Shanghai time.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, fell 4 percent to A$36.28. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) fell 3.8 percent to A$61.70.

Oil companies: Crude oil fell below $70 a barrel in New York after the seizure of a Spanish bank fueled concern the fallout from Europe’s debt crisis isn’t over.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- largest oil and gas producer, declined 3.4 percent to A$41.37. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) fell 4.4 percent to A$11.75.

Financial shares also slid. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA AU), the nation’s largest lender by market value, retreated 3.7 percent to A$50.31. Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU), the second biggest, sank 3.9 percent to A$22.26.

Flight Centre Ltd. (FLT AU) gained 2.9 percent to A$16.80. Australia’s largest travel agency said it expects pre-tax profit of between A$190 million and A$200 million, excluding non- recurring items, for the 2010 fiscal year. The company said it was previously targeting A$160 million to A$180 million.

New Zealand:

Telecom Corp. (TEL NZ) dropped 5.6 percent to NZ$1.85. Fitch Ratings affirmed its credit rating at A- with a negative outlook after the Auckland-based company said it is considering a structural separation of its network unit.

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

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