BHP, Dexus, Hastie, News, Woodside: Australian Stocks Preview

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

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in September was little changed at 4,467 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index dropped 1.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1.9 percent to 4,495.40.

Mining companies A measure of primary metals traded in London gained 1 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, slipped 1.9 percent to A$43.46. Its American depositary receipts fell 1 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, lost 2.1 percent to A$81.43 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude for August delivery rose 2.4 percent to settle at $97.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, declined 0.9 percent to A$39.78. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, retreated 1.9 percent to A$13.13.

Gold producers: Gold futures for August delivery gained 0.9 percent to settle at a record $1,562.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, declined 0.2 percent to A$38.71.

Real-estate companies: Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Dexus Property Group (DXS) was lowered to “underweight” from “overweight.” Commonwealth Property’s shares lost 0.6 percent to 90.5 Australian cents. Dexus fell 2.3 percent to 86.5 Australian cents.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) : The iron-ore producer is mulling a Hong Kong or Shanghai listing, the Australian newspaper reported on its website yesterday, citing an interview with Chief Executive Andrew Forrest. The stock declined 3.2 percent to A$6.28.

Hastie Group Ltd. (HST) : The commercial air-conditioning and refrigeration company said retail shareholders subscribed to about 128.5 million new shares. The stock slumped 6.3 percent to 15 Australian cents.

News Corp. (NWSA) : The company, which is facing a probe into alleged phone hacking by the company’s U.K. journalists, almost tripled its stock-buyback program to $5 billion. The allegations have prompted U.K. politicians from all parties to call for New York-based News Corp. (NWS) to scrap its planned purchase of the British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc shares it doesn’t already own. The stock slid 4.6 percent to A$15.19.

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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