Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Australand, Extract, Murchison, Rio, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.6 percent to 4,505.50 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 1.3 percent to 3,041.26 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 prices rose for a third straight day to $2.8625 a pound as reports signaled robust economic growth in China. Separately, Australia’s Herald Sun said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will make concessions on his planned mining-profits tax.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 2.6 percent to A$38.58. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest mining company, advanced 1.8 percent to A$69.10.

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (KCN AU) increased 4.4 percent to A$9.97. The gold mining and exploration company’s share-price target was increased to A$12 from A$10.38 by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, which maintained its “buy” rating on the stock.

Oil companies: Crude oil jumped 1.5 percent in New York yesterday to the highest level in four weeks as equities surged after reports from China, Japan and Australia indicated the global economic recovery is strengthening.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- largest oil and gas producer, advanced 3 percent to A$45.22. The company was raised to “buy” from “hold” by Deutsche Bank AG equity analyst John Hirjee.

Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) increased 3.1 percent to A$13.50. Santos may raise as much as A$1 billion ($850 million) selling a stake in its liquefied natural gas project in Australia, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. is a potential buyer, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said.

Australand Property Group (ALZ AU) gained 1.7 percent to A$2.44. The diversified property group was rated new “overweight” by JPMorgan Chase & Co. equity analyst Richard Jones.

Extract Resources Ltd. (EXT AU) increased 2.3 percent to A$7. The uranium explorer said it will consider cooperation between its planned uranium mine and Rio Tinto’s Rossing mine in Namibia.

Gunns Ltd. (GNS AU) soared 16 percent to 50.5 Australian cents. The Australian timber products company said it expects to report full-year earnings before interest and tax in the range of A$50 million to A$60 million.

Murchison Metals Ltd. (MMX AU) surged 7.7 percent to A$1.95. The exporter of iron ore to China said North Asian steel mills had agreed initial accords to buy iron ore from its joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp.

TPG Telecom Ltd. (TPM AU) rose 2.9 percent to A$2.15. The internet service provider may be ahead of rival bidders for AAPT Ltd., being sold by Telecom Corp. (TEL NZ) of New Zealand, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information. Telecom Corp. gained 2.1 percent to NZ$1.91 in Wellington.

New Zealand:

Port of Tauranga Ltd. (POT NZ) rose 3.8 percent to NZ$6.80. New Zealand’s largest export port said full-year normalized profit will be between NZ$49 million ($33 million) and NZ$50 million, raising its earlier outlook of about NZ$45.2 million.

To contact the reporters for this story: Kana Nishizawa in Tokyo at knishizawa5@bloomberg.net; Nichola Saminather in Sydney at Nsaminather1@bloomberg.net.

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