Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.6 percent to 4,296.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, completing its fifth straight monthly decline. The gauge has dropped 9.5 percent this year.
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 gained 2.1 percent on the Comex in New York yesterday and as much as 0.6 percent today.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 1.4 percent to A$40.25. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) added 2 percent to A$2.07.
Goodman Fielder Ltd. (GFF) dropped 4.2 percent to 69 Australian cents after Australia’s largest baker was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Macquarie Group Ltd.
Perseus Mining Ltd. (PRU) gained 4.1 percent to A$3.60. The Australian gold mining company said it is continuing to expand zones of mineralization at projects in both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC) slumped 4.9 percent to A$5.99. The Australian producer of the commodity said First Reserve Corp., an energy investment company, and AMCI International AG sold the equivalent of 13.15 percent of the company to Australian and overseas investors at A$6 a share.
Rakon Ltd. (RAK) slumped 8.1 percent to 79 New Zealand cents after the supplier of crystal oscillators for global positioning systems said business is being hurt by the nation’s exchange rate, even as strong sales growth continues.
Telecom Corp. of New Zealand (TEL NZ) dropped 3.6 percent to NZ$2.54 after the company said its chief executive officer will leave, and amid concern a structural split may leave earnings more vulnerable. Telecom’s shares fell 2.8 percent to A$2.06 in Sydney.
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