Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4 percent to 4,473.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, capping the first weekly drop in four.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 1.8 percent yesterday.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, slipped 1.6 percent to A$42.89. BHP separately agreed to buy Petrohawk Energy Corp., a U.S.-based oil and gas company, for $38.75 per share.
PanAust Ltd. (PNA) , which has copper-gold mining operations in Laos, dropped 1.7 percent to A$3.98.
Oil stocks: Crude for August delivery declined 2.4 percent to settle at $95.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, declined 2.2 percent to A$39.17. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, lost 0.2 percent to A$13.23.
Australand Property Group (ALZ) surged 5.6 percent to A$2.81. The land and housing development company, was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” at Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG), which cited recent share price declines and said the stock was underpinned by “earning stability and growth.”
Beach Energy Ltd. (BPT) rose 6.4 percent to A$1 after the oil and gas explorer said it settled a dispute with Icon Energy Ltd. in relation to a prospective tenement. Icon (ICN AU) jumped 8.6 percent to 19 Australian cents.
Macarthur Coal Ltd. (MCC) gained 0.7 percent to A$15.45. ArcelorMittal and Peabody Energy Corp. reached an accord to study the finances of Macarthur Coal after sweetening a takeover proposal valuing the world’s biggest maker of pulverized coal at A$4.7 billion ($5 billion).
Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG AU) gained 3.9 percent to A$29. Investors in the financial stock should stop selling because recent declines mean the bank’s likely “earnings headwinds” are now reflected in the share price, Citigroup Inc. analysts said.
Argosy Property Management Ltd. (ARG NZ) rose 2.4 percent to 84 New Zealand cents. Independent directors of the company agreed to pay NZ$20 million ($16.8 million) to OnePath (NZ) Ltd. as part of a plan to internalize the management of Argosy Property Trust. (ARG)
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