ANZ, AWB, BHP, Billabong, Brambles, Downer, Santos: Australia, N.Z. Stocks

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.1 percent to 4,430.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 1 percent to 3,000.40 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington.

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


Mining shares: Copper futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to close at $3.3395 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, lost 1 percent to A$37.90. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the third-largest miner, declined 2.2 percent to A$71.58.

Oil companies: Crude oil fell to a six-week low yesterday in New York as rising U.S. jobless claims and a contraction in manufacturing in the Philadelphia area bolstered concern an economic rebound in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country is slowing.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- largest oil and gas producer, slipped 0.5 percent to A$43.22. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) fell 1.5 percent to A$14.08.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) climbed 1.7 percent to A$22.78. The best-performing bank in Sydney this year said third-quarter profit rose 37 percent as bad debts shrank.

AWB Ltd. (AWB AU) gained 2.4 percent to A$1.485. Agrium Inc., bidding A$1.2 billion ($1.1 billion) in cash for AWB, said Australia’s largest wheat exporter favored its offer over a rival stock-based proposal from GrainCorp Ltd.

Billabong International Ltd. (BBG AU) plunged 9.9 percent to A$8.03 after the world’s biggest publicly traded surfwear maker announced forecast earnings at least 12 percent below analyst estimates.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU) rose 2.5 percent to A$5.65. The world’s biggest supplier of wooden pallets had its stock rating raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Merrill Lynch and Macquarie Research.

Downer EDI Ltd. (DOW AU) fell 3.6 percent to A$4.25. The Australian engineering company was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank.

New Zealand:

Michael Hill International Ltd. (MHI NZ) lost 4.4 percent to 66 New Zealand cents after reporting full-year net income of NZ$26.5 million ($18.7 million).

Telecom Corp. (TEL NZ), the nation’s biggest phone company, dropped 3.3 percent to NZ$2.03 after reporting that fourth- quarter profit declined 40 percent on lower prices, higher costs and slowing domestic demand.

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

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