BHP, JB Hi-Fi, Qantas, Rio, Transurban, Woodside: Australian Stock Preview

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

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in December advanced 0.7 percent to 4,666 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index rose 1.4 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,619.90.

Mining shares: Copper prices rose to a 27-month high in New York as inventories declined and the dollar fell.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, gained 0.2 percent to A$40.82 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts gained 2.2 percent in New York trading.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., fending off a $40 billion hostile offer from BHP, said it’s studying alternatives to the bid amid rising prices for agricultural commodities.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, rose 1 percent to A$78.62 in Sydney.

Oil producers: Crude for November delivery climbed 1.6 percent to settle at $83.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level since Oct. 6.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, lost 0.7 percent to A$43.72.

Gold producers: Gold rose to a record for the 15th time in the past month as the slumping dollar boosted investor demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s largest gold producer, climbed 0.7 percent to A$41.18. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) advanced 1.2 percent to 41.5 Australian cents.

Amcor Ltd. (AMC AU): Australia’s biggest packaging company said there’s scope to achieve more than A$250 million ($248 million) in annual savings from its purchase of parts of Rio Tinto’s Alcan unit, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing unnamed executives. Amcor shares slipped 0.2 percent to A$6.27.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU): Chief Executive Officer Andrew Forrest may step back and become non-executive chairman of the iron-ore producer after the board meets next month to approve studies on its two expansion projects, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information. Fortescue’s shares surged 5 percent to A$6.30.

JB Hi-Fi Ltd. (JBH AU): The retailer had its rating raised to “hold” from “sell” by analysts led by Daniel Broeren at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Its shares declined 0.7 percent to A$20.10.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU): Australia’s biggest airline opposes the introduction of a carbon tax, which may distort competition if the nation moves faster than other countries, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce. Qantas shares rose 1.1 percent to A$2.86.

Transurban Group (TCL AU): The toll-road operator had its rating cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts led by Marie Miyashiro at Citigroup Inc. The stock climbed 2.2 percent to A$5.19.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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