Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Aquarius, Aquila, Atlas, IAG, Newcrest

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.8 percent to 4,537.40 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney.

The index deepened losses after a report showed Australian consumer prices gained more than economists forecast last quarter on higher costs for food, clothing and health care.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) slid 0.1 percent to 3,412.35 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 December delivery rose for the fourth straight day, gaining as much as 0.5 percent today in New York. Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, added 0.8 percent to A$40.50. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) gained 2 percent to A$2.02.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) fell 4.8 percent to A$4.40 after the company released fourth-quarter production figures and said the operating environment remains “challenging” amid global economic uncertainty, rising costs and slowing demand.

Aquila Resources Ltd. (AQA) surged 3.3 percent to A$7.26 after saying Vale SA and IP Coal reached an agreement that means normal shipments of coal can resume from Isaac Plains.

Atlas Iron Ltd. (AGO) dropped 3.8 percent to A$4.04 after saying it plans to take a 19.9 percent stake in Centaurus Metals Ltd. (CTM AU), a Brazilian iron-ore explorer. Centaurus jumped 31 percent to 10.5 Australian cents.

Insurance Australia Group Ltd. (IAG) fell 1.2 percent to A$3.36 after Credit Suisse Group AG said it had downgraded the insurer to “neutral” from “outperform.” The bank cited “near-term headwinds” and said it expects IAG to lower its insurance-margin guidance.

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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