Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Dart, Leighton, Newcrest, Virgin

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1.1 percent to 4,212.80 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) gained 0.4 percent to 3,301.58 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Commodity stocks: Copper and oil futures climbed today after U.S. reports on durable-goods orders and home prices beat economists’ estimates, easing concern the world’s biggest economy is slowing.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 1.1 percent to A$38.61. 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, gained 1.2 percent to A$69.73. Rio increased its stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVA AU) to 48.5 percent from 46.5 percent. Ivanhoe’s shares rose 1.7 percent to A$1.80.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s No. 2 oil and gas producer, climbed 2.8 percent to A$35.75.

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 2 percent to A$39.56. Rival OceanaGold Corp. (OGC) fell 3.6 percent to A$2.15.

Charter Hall Office REIT (CQO) rose 2.9 percent to A$2.89. The Australian property trust was raised to “overweight” from “underweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Dart Energy Ltd. (DTE) jumped 11 percent to 65.5 Australian cents. The oil and gas company said it plans to restructure its portfolio, which may include listing its international coal-bed-methane assets on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

FKP Property Group (FKP) surged 7.5 percent to 50 Australian cents after reporting a 62 percent jump in full-year profit and doubling its dividend.

Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU) gained 5.5 percent to A$16.35. The world’s biggest zircon producer reported first-half net income of A$145.9 million ($152.5 million). Analysts had forecast interim profit of A$132.7 million.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI) dropped 3.3 percent to A$20.61 after the company named Hamish Tyrwhitt as chief executive officer to replace David Stewart who served just eight months in the role.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. (RHC) advanced 4.2 percent to A$17.52. Australia’s biggest private-hospital operator reported full-year net income of A$198.4 million. Analysts had forecast annual profit of A$197 million.

Toll Holdings Ltd. (TOL) surged 8.6 percent to A$4.69. Australia’s biggest logistics company reported better than expected annual profit.

Transfield Services Ltd. (TSE) plunged 22 percent to A$2.30 after the provider of services to the oil and gas industry reported a full-year net loss.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA) jumped 15 percent to 27 Australian cents after the nation’s second-biggest carrier reported earnings and said that corporate and government revenue grew by 29 percent.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW) fell 5.6 percent to A$25.75 after the retailer reported full-year net income of A$2.12 billion and provided an earnings forecast that missed analyst estimates.

New Zealand:

Skellerup Holdings Ltd. (SKL) climbed 1.6 percent to NZ$1.24 after the New Zealand manufacturer of rubber products used in the dairy industry reported a 69 percent increase in full-year net profit.

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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