BHP, Macquarie, News, UGL, Woodside: Australian Stock 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 fell 1.3 percent to 4,093 as of 11:59 p.m. in Sydney. The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 2.4 percent to 4,141.90.

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London slipped 1.6 percent for a third straight daily loss yesterday. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, lost 3.4 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 in Sydney. Rio and Anglo American Plc, which together own about three-quarters of Palabora Mining Co., said they plan to sell their entire holdings in the South African miner as it no longer fits investment objectives.

Oil stocks: Crude for October delivery slid 3.3 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, slid 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 for immediate delivery gained 0.9 percent in London.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.7 percent to A$39.39. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) was unchanged at A$2.15.

Bank stocks: Global regulators may ease new bank rules that require lenders to hold more liquid assets to endure a funding squeeze in a crisis, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with discussions among members of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) lost 2.4 percent to A$46.39, while rival National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) dropped 3.2 percent to A$22.77.

Envestra Ltd. (ENV) : The operator of gas pipelines in South Australia was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) Its shares climbed 0.7 percent to 70.5 Australian cents.

Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG AU): The investment bank is set to bid for Royal Bank of Scotland’s aircraft leasing unit, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing people close to the deal. The stock fell 4.4 percent to A$24.04.

News Corp. (NWSA) : Rupert Murdoch’s company is to sell its U.K. headquarters in London’s Wapping area, the site of clashes with the printing unions in the 1980s, after opting not to redevelop the site. News Corp. (NWS) shares declined 2.2 percent to A$15.56.

UGL Ltd. (UGL) : The engineering services company was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Its shares slid 2.3 percent to A$11.83.

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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