Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Linc, Westfield, Westpac, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) climbed 0.3 percent to 4,643.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) rose 0.9 percent to 3,296.63 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.

Commodity stocks: Commodity producers rose amid optimism that an agreement to rescue Ireland’s banks may be enough to stabilize European sovereign-debt concerns.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s largest mining company, gained 0.6 percent to A$43.88. Rio Tinto Group (RIO) , the world’s third-biggest miner, advanced 0.5 percent to A$84.72. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, rose 1 percent to A$41.41.

Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) added 0.5 percent to A$21.72 after the lender said it entered into a new five-year contract with International Business Machines Corp.

Computershare Ltd. (CPU) gained 0.9 percent to A$9.88. The world’s biggest share registrar was rated “hold” in new coverage at Deutsche Bank.

Linc Energy Ltd. (LNC) , an Australian clean-fuel company, rose 1.6 percent to A$2.50 after saying it’s “working with” possible buyers of the Teresa coal resource.

Westfield Group (WDC) gained 2.8 percent to A$12.15. The world’s largest owner of shopping centers said it will sell a 50 percent interest in the retail part of its Stratford City development in London for 871.5 million pounds ($1.4 billion) to a new joint venture between APG Algemene Pensioen Groep NV and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

New Zealand:

Pumpkin Patch Ltd. (PPL) dropped 2.2 percent to NZ$1.82. Chairman Greg Muir said he won’t seek re-election to the board of the New Zealand retailer, saying his leadership is distracting attention from the business itself.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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