Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Infigen, Newcrest, Perseus, Rio, Sigma

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.4 percent to 4,705.20 as of 10:56 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.2 percent to 3,288.16 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 prices rose to a three-week high in New York yesterday on speculation a recovery in the global economy will boost demand.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, gained 0.6 percent to A$44.79. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, rose 1.1 percent to A$86.93.

Gold producers: Gold futures rose to a record settlement of $1,416.10 an ounce in New York yesterday on concern the U.S. will pump more cash into the economy and Europe’s debt woes will spread.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.9 percent to A$41.45. Avoca Resources Ltd. (AVO AU) advanced 3.4 percent to A$3.36.

Infigen Energy (IFN AU) slumped 4.7 percent to 50.5 Australian cents. The Australian wind-power producer was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG.

Perseus Mining Ltd. (PRU AU) surged 5.2 percent to A$3.23 after the mineral exploration company said drilling in West Africa delivered “more strong results.”

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SIP AU) declined 2.5 percent to 39.5 Australian cents. The drugmaker had its stock rating cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup Inc.

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

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

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