Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,806.10 at the 4:10 p.m. close in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 3,350.93 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.
Mining shares: A measure of metals traded in London climbed 1.2 percent yesterday, partly reversing a 2.5 percent slide on Jan. 25.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, climbed 0.3 percent to A$45.17. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest mining company, added 0.6 percent to A$86.04.
Retailers: Australian central bank board member Warwick McKibbin criticized a proposed levy to help fund reconstruction of flood-damaged Queensland state, the Australian newspaper reported. The professor at Australian National University said a tax on households will slow consumer spending unnecessarily, according to the report. David Jones Ltd. (DJS AU), Australia’s second-biggest department store, dropped 0.8 percent to A$4.83. Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (HVN AU), the nation’s largest furniture and electrical retailer, declined 2.2 percent to A$3.06.
Downer EDI Ltd. (DOW AU) tumbled 20 percent to A$3.61 after the engineering company announced a delay in its train project and made a first-half earnings forecast.
Pumpkin Patch Ltd. (PPL NZ) slumped 7.6 percent to NZ$1.45. New Zealand’s second-biggest retailer by market value said first-half sales and earnings will probably fall amid “challenging conditions” in key markets.
Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd. (RBD NZ) gained 2.5 percent to NZ$2.49. The Auckland-based company yesterday said it is meeting its disclosure requirements and is comfortable with full-year profit guidance given to date.
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