Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Nufarm, Qantas, Santos, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.6 percent to 4,533.10 as of 10:30 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) rose 0.1 percent to 3,481.02 in Wellington.

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

Mining companies: Copper traded in New York fell for the fourth straight day yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.3 percent to A$42.58. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 1.1 percent to A$79.29.

Gold producers: Gold futures for August delivery fell 0.9 percent on the Comex in New York, to settle at $1,515.60 yesterday.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, dropped 1.3 percent to A$36.95.

Oil stocks: Crude oil fell for a third day today after fuel demand from China slowed and Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating to the lowest level held by a country.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, lost 0.7 percent to A$43.26.

Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, lost 0.4 percent to A$13.89.

Nufarm Ltd. (NUF AU) dropped 1 percent to A$4.79. The supplier of farm chemicals was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) dropped 1.1 percent to A$1.87. Australia’s biggest airline said flights to and from New Zealand remain suspended because of a cloud of volcanic ash. Services to Adelaide will remain suspended until 1 p.m. Sydney time while other services to Melbourne have resumed, the company said on its website today. The disruptions were caused by volcanic ash blown across the country from an eruption in Chile.

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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