BHP, Bluescope, Brambles, Gloucester, Woodside: Australian Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. This preview includes news announced after markets closed yesterday. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in September rose 0.4 percent to 4,471 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index slipped 0.6 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.9 percent to 4,477.

Mining shares: Copper futures for December delivery added 1.8 percent to close at $3.3585 a pound at 1:21 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, climbed 0.5 percent to A$40.20 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts lost 2.4 percent in New York trading. BHP may go directly to shareholders as early as this week with its unsolicited takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest miner, gained 0.9 percent to A$71.44 in Sydney.

Oil companies: Crude oil for September delivery rose 0.7 percent to settle at $75.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- largest oil and gas producer, dipped 0.1 percent to A$43.05. Woodside reported first-half net income rose 40 percent to $901 million on higher commodity prices, beating the median estimate of analysts for $775 million.

Gold producers: Gold prices rose to a six-week high as a weaker dollar boosted demand for the metal as an alternative asset. Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 0.1 percent to A$35.24.

BlueScope Steel Ltd. (BSL AU): Australia’s largest steelmaker will consider acquisitions in China to boost its manufacturing capacity and tap demand in the world’s biggest consumer of the alloy. The shares dropped 2.5 percent to A$2.33.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU): The world’s biggest supplier of storage pallets was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The stock rose 1.2 percent to A$5.25.

Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU): The Australian producer controlled by Hong Kong-based Noble Group Ltd. was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. Its shares added 0.2 percent to A$12.45.

Monadelphous Group Ltd. (MND AU): The mining services company was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The shares surged 3.3 percent to A$14.67.

Prime Media Group Ltd. (PRT AU): The Australian television broadcaster will book a A$71.6 million ($64.8 million) impairment charge after adjusting the value of certain assets, a regulatory filing showed. The stock decreased 2.7 percent to 73 Australian cents.

Reef Casino Trust (RCT AU): The operator of a casino in north Queensland state said in a regulatory filing that profit fell 50 percent in the six months ended June 30 to A$1.63 million from a year earlier. The stock gained 1.6 percent to A$1.88.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU): Australia’s biggest retailer was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The shares climbed 0.4 percent to A$26.87.

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

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