Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, James Hardie, News Corp., Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 2.4 percent to 4,141.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) dropped 0.3 percent to 3,293.13 in Wellington.

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

Mining companies, exporters and U.S.-linked stocks: A measure of primary metals traded in London slipped 1 percent for a second straight daily loss on Sept. 2 after a U.S. government report showed employment stagnated last month.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, lost 2.1 percent to A$37.70. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 3.1 percent to A$69.79. BlueScope Steel Ltd. (BSL) , Australia’s biggest steelmaker, slumped 7.8 percent to 77 Australian cents.

James Hardie Industries SE (JHX) , a building materials supplier that gets almost 68 percent of sales from the U.S., fell 4.8 percent to A$5.74. Billabong International Ltd. (BBG) , a surfwear maker that gets about 50 percent of revenue from the Americas, slid 2.3 percent to A$3.41.

Oil stocks: Crude for October delivery fell 2.8 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Sept. 2, and as much as 1.1 percent today.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, sank 3.1 percent to A$33.85. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, fell 4.9 percent to A$11.40.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery gained 2.6 percent on the Comex in New York on Sept. 2, and as much as 0.9 percent today.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.7 percent to A$39.39. Perseus Mining Ltd. (PRU) gained 3.9 percent to A$3.75. Gryphon Minerals Ltd. (GRY) , an owner of gold mines in West Africa, climbed 3.1 percent to A$1.69.

News Corp. (NWS) slipped 2.2 percent to A$15.56. Four former News Corp. (NWSA) executives will testify in the U.K. parliament this week after questioning the veracity of parts of News International Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch’s testimony two months ago about a phone-hacking scandal. Separately, London police investigating matter said they arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voice-mail messages.

White Energy Co. (WEC AU) dropped 2.7 percent to A$1.835 after the developer of coal technologies posted a full-year loss.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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