Alumina, Conquest, Qantas, Ramsay Health, Sigma: Australian, N.Z. Equities

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 1.2 percent to 4,605.30 at the 4 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,195.63 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.

Australia:

Mining shares: Copper for delivery in December fell 0.6 percent to $3.448 a pound at 10:01 a.m. yesterday on the Comex in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.8 percent to A$38.75. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, slipped 2 percent to A$73.79.

Alumina Ltd. (AWC AU), partner in the world’s biggest producer of the material used to make aluminum, lost 2.1 percent to A$1.915. Alumina said it will book $11 million in costs in the third-quarter from the start up of the venture’s Alumar refinery in Brazil.

Conquest Mining Ltd. (CQT AU) jumped 16 percent to 51.5 Australian cents. The minerals explorer said it signed an offtake agreement for its V2 deposit at Mt. Carlton in Australia’s Queensland state.

OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL AU) slumped 4.1 percent to A$1.415. The Australian gold and copper producer was downgraded to “sector perform” from “outperform” at RBC Capital.

James Hardie Industries (JHX AU) plunged 5.9 percent to A$5.59. Credit Suisse Group AG said today in a research note macroeconomic data pointing to continued weakness in the U.S. housing market indicate “more negatives, than positives” in the short term.

Boral Ltd. (BLD AU), Australia’s largest seller of building materials, which gets about 13 percent of its sales from the U.S., lost 4.7 percent to A$4.69.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU), Australia’s biggest carrier, climbed 1.1 percent to A$2.67. Jetstar, the Singapore-based airline owned by Qantas and Wesbrook Investments Private Ltd., will start Guilin-to-Singapore flights twice a week from Nov. 3, the China Daily reported, citing Chong Phit Lian, Jetstar’s chief executive officer.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. (RHC AU) fell 1.6 percent to A$14.43. Australia’s biggest private-hospital operator was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SIP AU) slumped 5.1 percent to 46.5 Australian cents after saying it will book a charge of as much as A$270 million ($253 million) in its drugs division that will have a “material impact” on full-year results.

WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR AU) retreated 2.1 percent to A$22.86. Australia’s biggest engineering company was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse.

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

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