Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 2.2 percent to 4,173.40 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) slipped 0.2 percent to 3,269.59 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.
Oil stocks: Crude for September delivery gained 2.4 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, and rose as much as 1 percent today.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, rose 1.7 percent to A$35.12. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, climbed 4.5 percent to A$11.75.
Gold producers: Gold extended a rally to a record, topping $1,900 an ounce in New York for the first time yesterday.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 0.8 percent to A$40.55. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) gained 1.5 percent to A$1.99. Alacer Gold Corp. (AQG AU), which mines in Turkey, surged 5 percent to A$10.67 after saying drilling at the Copler Gold Mine confirmed “significant depth potential.”
BlueScope Steel Ltd. (BSL) climbed 13 percent to 84 Australian cents amid speculation shares in Australia’s largest steelmaker, which has shed 28 percent this month, have been oversold.
“After the company’s restructure yesterday, we’re seeing some bargain hunters,” said Lucinda Chan, head of Asian business at Macquarie Private Wealth in Sydney. “BlueScope shares have been smashed recently and it’s trading well below analyst forecasts, so traders are coming back for a nibble.”
Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL) jumped 8.3 percent to A$8.91. The producer was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd., which cited the company’s “upside exposure” to coal prices.
Hills Holdings Ltd. (HIL) surged 9.1 percent to A$1.08 after the company, whose products range from television antennas to children’s play equipment, said it may buy back up to 10 percent of its shares. The stock rose even as Hills today reported “weaker than expected trading conditions” that contributed to a fiscal full-year loss of A$75 million ($78 million).
Monadelphous Group Ltd. (MND) gained 9.4 percent to A$18.95 after the mining services company reported full-year net income of A$95.1 million. Analysts had forecast annual profit of A$93.4 million.
Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) gained 8.5 percent to A$1.54. The carrier’s planned Asian unit will have cabins more luxurious than those on the group’s flagship Airbus SAS A380s in a bid to lure fliers from Singapore Airlines Ltd. Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg television.
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