Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Macquarie, News, UGL, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.6 percent to 4,075.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) slipped 0.7 percent to 3,270.56 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington.

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

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London slipped 1.6 percent for a third straight daily loss yesterday. Copper futures for December delivery lost as much as 2.5 percent today.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, lost 2.2 percent to A$36.88. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest miner by sales, declined 2 percent to A$68.41.

Oil stocks: Crude for October delivery slid as much as 3.8 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange today.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, slid 0.3 percent to A$33.76. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, fell 2.8 percent to A$11.08.

Gold producers: Gold for immediate delivery gained 0.9 percent in London yesterday. Futures for December delivery climbed as much as 2.5 percent today.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.9 percent to A$39.75. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) added 4.2 percent to A$2.24.

Bank stocks: Australia’s banking regulator said the nation’s lenders are well placed to meet new minimum capital requirements and it will accelerate some parts of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s global timetable. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) lost 0.9 percent to A$45.98, while rival National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) dropped 2.8 percent to A$22.14. Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) slid 3.7 percent to A$23.16. Separately, 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.

Envestra Ltd. (ENV) gained 0.7 percent to 71 Australian cents. The operator of gas pipelines in South Australia was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Macquarie Group Ltd.

News Corp. (NWSA) declined 2 percent to A$15.25. 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.

UGL Ltd. (UGL) advanced 1.1 percent to A$11.70. The engineering services company was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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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