Australian, N.Z. Stocks: AMP, BHP, Lend Lease, Rio, Virgin Blue, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.8 percent to 4,457.50 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.4 percent to 3,047.75 in Wellington.

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

Australia:

Mining shares: Copper futures for July delivery rose 2.5 percent to $3.1585 a pound on the Comex in New York yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 0.3 percent to A$38.97. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) climbed 1.8 percent to A$68.20.

Oil companies: Crude oil for July delivery rose 4.3 percent to settle at $74.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, the biggest one-day increase since Sept. 30.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- largest oil and gas producer, advanced 2 percent to A$43.46.

Santos Ltd. (STO AU) rose 1.5 percent to A$12.45 after its rating was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Merrill Lynch & Co. New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO NZ), a partner in the nation’s Tui oil field, rallied 2.9 percent to NZ$1.41 in Wellington.

AMP Ltd. (AMP AU) gained 4.1 percent to A$5.65. The Australian asset manager was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Merrill Lynch & Co. In Wellington trading, AMP (AMP NZ) rose 4 percent to NZ$6.95.

David Jones Ltd. (DJS AU) surged 3.8 percent to A$4.40. Australia’s second-biggest department store had its rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts led by Craig Woolford at Citigroup Inc, who maintained their share-price estimate at A$4.85.

Lend Lease Group (LLC AU) climbed 2.5 percent to A$7.76. Australia’s largest property developer was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG.

James Hardie Industries SE (JHX AU) gained 4.1 percent to A$7.40. The biggest seller of home siding in the U.S. was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) tumbled 28 percent to 31 Australian cents after saying profit this fiscal year will probably be as much as 75 percent less than forecast.

WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR AU) advanced 2.3 percent to A$25.06. Australia’s biggest engineering company was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

New Zealand:

Tower Ltd. (TWR NZ), a New Zealand insurer and fund manager part-owned by Guinness Peat Group Plc., rose 2.7 percent to NZ$1.89. It said first-half profit rose 5.6 percent on improved health, life and general insurance returns.

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

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