Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 4,200 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. The gauge rose 2.4 percent this week.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
ASX Ltd. (ASX) gained 0.3 percent to A$29.35. The bourse operator named Elmer Funke Kupper, the former head of Australia’s biggest gambling company, as its chief executive officer, ending the tenure of Robert Elstone.
Insurance Australia Group Ltd. (IAG) lost 2 percent to A$2.94. The Sydney-based insurer formed in 1925 was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Macquarie Group Ltd.
Fairfax Media Ltd. (FXJ) gained 7.1 percent to 83 Australian cents. The media company said it plans an initial public offering of its Trade Me auction website and posting annual profit that beat estimates.
Perpetual Ltd. (PPT) climbed 10 percent to A$26.49. The company, subject of an aborted bid from KKR & Co. last year, will buy back stock for the first time since 2003 in a bid to soothe investors hurt by an earnings and share-price slump.
Woolworths Ltd. (WOW) dropped 2 percent to A$25.23. Australia’s biggest retailer was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG.
Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKT) rose 1.7 percent to NZ$5.85. New Zealand’s largest pay-TV operator reported that full-year profit rose 17 percent on a recovery in subscriber growth.
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