Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Aristocrat Leisure, Mainfreight, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.4 percent to 4,797.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) gained 0.4 percent to 3,430.05 in Wellington.

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

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ALL) rose 0.9 percent to A$3.21. The world’s second-largest maker of slot machines had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Citigroup Inc.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (API) slid 1.2 percent to 40 Australian cents. The distributor of pharmaceutical products had its stock rating cut to “equal- weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Carsales.com.au (CRZ AU) dropped 4.6 percent to A$5. Australia’s most popular automotive website fell the most in four months in Sydney trading after Nine Entertainment Co. sold its 49 percent stake at a discount to raise A$566 million ($574 million).

Cochlear Ltd. (COH) retreated 0.5 percent to A$80.46. The maker of the world’s best-selling hearing implant had its stock rating cut to “underweight” from “equal-weight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest mining company, fell 1.6 percent to A$84.15. A measure of metals traded in London slipped 0.3 percent on March 4.

Sonic Healthcare Ltd. (SHL) fell 1.8 percent to A$11.26 after its stock rating was cut to “underweight” from “equal- weight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

New Zealand:

Mainfreight Ltd. (MFT) surged 5.8 percent to NZ$8.59. New Zealand’s largest trucking company agreed to buy Netherlands-based Wim Bosman Group for 110 million euros ($153 million) in its first European acquisition.

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

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

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