Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.2 percent to 4,559 as of the close in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.7 percent to 3,066.58 in Wellington as the nation’s consumer confidence rebounded in the second quarter.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining shares: Copper rose for a sixth straight session as a weaker dollar boosted demand for commodities, and gold prices gained the most in a week on demand for an alternative investment to currencies. Copper futures for September delivery increased 0.4 percent to $3.024 a pound on the Comex in New York. Gold futures for delivery in August advanced 0.8 percent to $1,234.40 an ounce.
Oil companies: Crude oil jumped to a one-month high in New York as the euro gained against the dollar, bolstering the appeal of commodities, and on forecasts that a government report will show U.S. fuel supplies fell for a third week. Crude for July delivery rose $1.82 to $76.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Amcor Ltd. (AMC AU), Australia’s biggest packaging company, jumped 3.1 percent to A$6.62. The company agreed to buy the assets of Ball Plastics Packaging Americas from Ball Corp. for $280 million to add five plants in North America.
Centennial Coal Co. Ltd. (CEY AU), the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel, climbed 4 percent to A$4.64. Banpu Public Co. Ltd., Thailand’s biggest coal producer, increased its stake in the company to 19.89 percent, according to a regulatory filing.
IOOF Holdings Ltd. (IFL AU), the Australian fund manager, rose 2.5 percent to A$6.16. The company may be close to a deal with National Australia Bank Ltd. to buy Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd.’s North investment platform, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.
Premier Investments Ltd. (PMV AU), the owner of the Just Jeans and Peter Alexander retail chains, gained 0.5 percent to A$6.15. The stock was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
News Corp. (NWS AU), the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, surged 4.3 percent to A$18.66. The company offered 7.8 billion pounds ($11.5 billion), or 700 pence a share, for British Sky Broadcasting Plc. BSkyB, the U.K.’s largest pay-TV provider, spurned the offer, asking for the bid to be raised by at least 14 percent.
Sims Metal Management Ltd. (SGM AU), the world’s biggest recycler of scrap metal, jumped 3.6 percent to A$19.24. The stock was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” by Credit Suisse Group AG.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU) surged 6.3 percent to A$4.90. The company may seek to buy some or all of the five projects Anglo American Plc is selling in New South Wales and Queensland states, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.
New Zealand Stocks:
Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKT NZ), New Zealand’s largest pay-television operator, increased 4.6 percent to NZ$5.02, the second-biggest advance on the NZX 50 Index, as the nation’s consumer confidence in the second quarter rebounded following a drop in unemployment rate.