Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 2.6 percent to 3,964.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, the lowest since July 15, 2009. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) added 0.1 percent to 3,312.28 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 stocks: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 0.9 percent yesterday, for a fourth straight daily decline, after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy faces “significant downside risks.” Copper futures tumbled into a so-called bear market, having fallen more than 20 percent from their recent peak.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, slumped 4 percent to A$35.63. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, slid 6.5 percent to A$65.10. Kagara Ltd. (KZL) , a zinc producer, tumbled 18 percent to 41 Australian cents.
Oil stocks: The price of crude oil for October delivery fell 1.2 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, and dropped as much as 2.2 percent today.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, lost 3.4 percent to A$32.53. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, fell 3.2 percent to A$11.12.
Foster’s Group Ltd. (FGL) jumped 7.6 percent to A$5.26. SABMiller Plc clinched a deal to buy Foster’s with a sweetened A$9.9 billion ($10.2 billion) offer for Australia’s biggest brewer after three months of pursuit, the U.K. company said. Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service placed the brewer’s credit rating on watch for a possible upgrade.
David Jones Ltd. (DJS) sank 2.9 percent to A$2.68 after the retailer was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG. The bank said its profit margins were likely to be squeezed in a low-growth environment and as costs rise.
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