Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 1.3 percent to 4,650 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) advanced 0.2 percent to 3,543.87 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.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.8 percent to A$43.52. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 1.4 percent to A$79.06.
Oil stocks: Crude oil for June delivery slid as much as 1.5 percent today in New York.
Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.9 percent to settle at $1,493.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York on May 13.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 1.6 percent to A$37.67. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) retreated 2.1 percent to A$1.835 after analysts at Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty. cut its stock rating to “hold” from “buy.”
Ansell Ltd. (ANN) dropped 0.4 percent to A$13.69. The world’s biggest maker of surgical gloves was downgraded to “neutral” at Macquarie Research. It was previously rated “outperform,” according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Boart Longyear Ltd. (BLY AU) gained 2.3 percent to A$4.37. The provider of drilling services to mining companies was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.
James Hardie Industries SE (JHX) climbed 3.1 percent to A$5.67. The largest seller of home siding in the U.S. had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.
Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI) gained 3 percent to A$23.55 after Australia’s biggest builder reported earnings and said it sees a return to solid results.
PanAust Ltd. (PNA) slipped 2 percent to 73 Australian cents. The company said its Phu Kham copper-gold mining and crushing operations in Laos have been temporarily suspended after a company security vehicle was fired upon by unknown assailants on May 11.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC) plunged 12 percent to A$5.63 after saying it ended takeover talks with potential buyers.
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