Australian Stocks: Aspire, ASX, Beach Energy, Emeco, Santos

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) gained 1.3 percent to 4,710 at the close of trading in Sydney.

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

Energy companies: Santos Ltd. (STO) said it will supply 750 petajoules of gas from its fields in the Cooper Basin to the Gladstone LNG project starting 2014. Beach Energy Ltd. (BPT) and Origin Energy Ltd. (ORG) are participants in the Cooper Basin joint venture, Santos said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange in Sydney. Santos climbed 2.6 percent to A$12.82. Beach Energy leapt 7.4 percent to 65.5 Australian cents. Origin Energy advanced 2.1 percent to A$16.26.

Aspire Mining Ltd. (AKM) , a junior resources company, leapt 13 percent to 21.5 Australian cents. The company said a statement it has entered into partnership with SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (1878 HK), a mining company in Mongolia.

ASX Ltd. (ASX) , operator of the Australian stock exchange, surged 19 percent to A$41.75, the steepest gain since November 1998. Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX SP) offered to purchase the company in a cash-and-stock deal worth A$8.4 billion ($8.3 billion).

Emeco Holdings Ltd. (EHL) rose 3.4 percent to 91 Australian cents. The supplier of earth-moving machinery had its stock rated “overweight” in new coverage at Morgan Stanley.

Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN AU), the owner of Africa’s biggest copper mine, gained 3.1 percent to A$5.95. The company agreed to buy Citadel Resource Group Ltd. (CGG AU) for A$1.2 billion in cash and shares to expand its operations into the Middle East. Citadel surged 19 percent to 50.5 Australian cents.

Ten Network Holdings Ltd. (TEN) climbed 2.8 percent to A$1.63. Australian billionaire James Packer may request seats on the board of Ten Network after he acquired a stake in the company, News Ltd. reported yesterday.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) lost 1.1 percent to 44.5 Australian cents. Australia’s second-biggest airline was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd.

To contact the reporters for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net; Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net.

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