Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Newcrest, News, Tabcorp, Western Areas

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 to 4,468.10 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) added 0.2 percent to 3,392.02 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.

Gold producers: Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.8 percent to a record in New York in the 10th straight daily advance yesterday, capping the longest rally in 31 years.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.8 percent to A$40.73. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) rose 3.4 percent to A$1.955.

News Corp. (NWS AU) gained 2.4 percent to A$14.50. The company is considering elevating Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey to chief executive officer to succeed Rupert Murdoch, people with knowledge of the situation said.

The shares rose even after Standard & Poor’s said News Corp. (NWS) may lose its BBB+ corporate debt rating because of risks created by a phone-hacking scandal that led to the arrest of its top U.K. newspaper executive.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH) climbed 5.2 percent to A$3.26. Australia’s biggest racehorse gambling operator won a new 12-year wagering license in Victoria to maintain its 51-year monopoly over off-track betting shops in the state.

Western Areas NL (WSA) surged 6.3 percent to A$5.92. The nickel supplier said 32,222 tonnes in ore was mined in full-year 2010-11, exceeding previous guidance by 10 percent. It also said that it anticipates the final dividend will exceed the half-year payment.

New Zealand:

Vector Ltd. (VCT) , New Zealand’s largest electricity distributor, dropped 4.4 percent to NZ$2.42. The nation’s antitrust regulator proposed pricing changes aimed at helping smaller electricity distributors earn more.

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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