Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Karoon, OZ Minerals, Qantas, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4 percent to 4,610.70 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) added 0.1 percent to 3,478.49 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 companies: Copper futures for September delivery added 0.5 percent in New York on July 1 and rose as much as 0.8 percent today.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.6 percent to A$44.02.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, added 0.4 percent to A$83.15.

Airlines: Australia’s air-safety regulator may keep Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. grounded beyond this week on safety concerns, sending the shares of larger rivals Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) and Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA) higher.

Qantas jumped 6.5 percent to A$1.97. Virgin’s surged 11 percent to 31.5 Australian cents.

Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (KAR) rose 6.4 percent to A$5.62 after the natural-gas explorer and partner ConocoPhillips won federal government approval for a proposed drilling campaign off the nation’s northwest coast that had been delayed amid tougher environmental scrutiny.

OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL) gained 1.5 percent to A$13.55. An Australian judge approved OZ Minerals’ agreement to settle two shareholder lawsuits that claimed the company failed to properly disclose refinancing plans and debt levels in 2008.

Murchison Metals Ltd. (MMX) shares fell 2 percent to 75 Australian cents. Mitsubishi Corp. and Murchison may have to pay 32 percent more to build the Oakajee port and rail project and the Jack Hills iron-ore mine in Australia, the Perth-based company said. The shares slumped as much as 21 percent after the company also announced the resignation of Executive Director Paul Kopejtka.

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE AU) jumped 8.9 percent to A$3.67 as two people familiar with the matter said Bright Food Group Co. is considering making an offer for the winemaker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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