BHP Billiton, Qantas, Sonic, Telstra: Australian Stock Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. The preview includes news announced after markets closed on June 24. All prices are from that day’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in September dropped 0.9 percent to 4,456 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index gained 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 percent to 4,508.10.

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London gained 0.4 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.7 percent to A$42.34. Its American depositary receipts gained 0.3 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, rose 0.5 percent to A$80.40 in Sydney.

Gold producers: Gold futures for August delivery sank 1.3 percent in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, dropped 0.9 percent to A$36.52.

APA Group (APA) : The company with a portfolio of gas pipelines in Australia was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares slumped 9.6 percent to A$3.95.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) : Australia’s biggest carrier said it will resume most of its flights to and from New Zealand today as a cloud of volcanic ash that has plagued carriers in the southern hemisphere for three weeks clears.

Flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown will operate as scheduled, while services to Wellington remain suspended, it the Sydney-based airline said in a statement on its website yesterday. Qantas shares advanced 1.9 percent to A$1.835.

Riversdale Mining Ltd. (RIV) : The Australian mining company named Eric Finlayson as chief executive officer. Riversdale fell 3.1 percent to A$16.11.

Sonic Healthcare Ltd. (SHL) : The medical diagnostics company was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The stock added 0.2 percent to A$12.21.

Telstra Corp. (TLS AU): Australia’s largest phone company may use the cash it gets from a deal with a government-owned national high-speed Internet network for dividends, share buy- backs or expanding its business, Chief Executive Officer David Thodey told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview broadcast yesterday. The stock fell 2.7 percent to A$2.88.

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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