BHP, IAG, Iluka, News Corp., Qantas: 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 fell 0.4 percent to 4,526 as of 6:56 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index climbed 0.4 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1 percent to 4,573.30.

Mining companies: Copper futures for September delivery gained 1.6 percent on the Comex in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 1.1 percent to A$43.52. Its American depositary receipts added 0.5 percent in New York trading.

BHP is refusing to negotiate with workers at its Escondida unit as a strike at the world’s biggest copper mine stretched into a fifth day, fueling concern that the stoppage may worsen a global supply shortage.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, climbed 1.1 percent to A$82.99 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for September delivery rose 0.4 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, gained 1.6 percent to A$39.48. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, advanced 1.7 percent to A$13.24.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent on the Comex in New York. Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, slipped 0.4 percent to A$40.18.

Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU) : The world’s biggest zircon producer said it plans to resume mining in the Eneabba area in Western Australia. Iluka’s shares surged 4.5 percent to A$19.25.

Insurance Australia Group Ltd. (IAG) : The insurer was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares added 1.5 percent to A$3.40.

News Corp. (NWS) : England soccer player Ashley Cole sued News Corp. (NWSA)’s U.K. unit and the private investigator who was jailed for hacking into celebrities’ voice mails to get scoops for the News of the World tabloid.

Cole sued the New York-based company and Glenn Mulcaire in the High Court in London, joining more than two dozen public figures who filed similar lawsuits, including actor Sienna Miller and former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. News Corp. shares rose 0.7 percent to A$15.22.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) : Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. said yesterday in a statement that it does not know when Tiger Airways Australia will resume services, and that it is committed to doing so “as soon as possible.” Qantas, Australia’s largest airline, gained 2.9 percent to A$1.925. Rival Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA) advanced 3.3 percent to 31 Australian cents.

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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