Alumina, BHP, Bow, Newcrest, Seven: Australian Equities 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 gained 1 percent to 4,211 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index lost 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,167.60.

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London climbed for a second day, rising 0.1 percent yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, was unchanged at A$38.21. Its American depositary receipts gained 0.1 percent in New York trading.

BHP has the balance sheet for opportunistic mergers and acquisitions and may target copper, energy and potash, Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers said. BHP yesterday reported that second-half profit climbed to a record $13.1 billion, beating analyst estimates.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, dropped 1.7 percent to A$68.93 in Sydney. Rio increased its stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVA AU) to 48.5 percent from 46.5 percent. Ivanhoe’s shares slipped 1.1 percent to A$1.77.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for October delivery fell 0.3 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, slid 1 percent to A$37.77. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, fell 3.7 percent to A$11.32.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery plunged 5.6 percent on the Comex in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 0.4 percent to A$40.38. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) sank 3 percent to A$1.93.

Alumina Ltd. (AWC) : Alumina, a partner in the world’s biggest producer of the material used to make aluminum, said Judith Downes quit as chief financial officer, a role she held since January 2009. The company is yet to name a replacement, it said in a statement. Alumina’s shares dropped 2 percent to A$1.70.

Bow Energy Ltd. (BOW) : The Australian natural gas explorer said it appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch as lead advisor after Arrow Energy Ltd. offered about A$520 million ($544.3 million) for the company this month. Bow’s shares slid 0.4 percent to A$1.435.

Charter Hall Office REIT (CQO) : The Australian property trust was raised to “overweight” from “underweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The stock gained 3.7 percent to A$2.81.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI) : Australia’s biggest builder will replace Chief Executive Officer David Stewart with its Asia unit head Hamish Tyrwhitt as soon as today, the Australian newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Leighton shares declined 3.1 percent to A$21.31.

Seven West Media Ltd. (SWM AU): The media company was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. Its shares jumped 18 percent to A$3.12.

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. (SXL) : The broadcasting and publishing company was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. The company’s shares climbed 4.4 percent to A$1.20.

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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