Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Ansell, BHP, Newcrest, OceanaGold, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.9 percent to 4,039.50 as of the 4:10 p.m. trading close in Sydney, headed for its highest close in a week. The gauge is headed for a 6 percent decline for the month and 12 percent drop for the quarter.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) gained 0.2 percent to 3,298.72 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 advanced 4.3 percent yesterday. Copper futures for December delivery jumped 4.8 percent in New York, the most since 2009, amid optimism that European leaders will take steps to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company by market value, gained 0.5 percent to A$35.52.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, increased 1 percent to A$64.05 in Sydney. The company agreed to form a joint venture with OAO Acron’s North Atlantic Potash Inc. unit to explore for the fertilizer ingredient in Canada.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery rose the most in more than four months, gaining $4.21 to settle at $84.45 a barrel in New York yesterday.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, rose 3.5 percent to A$31.94. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, increased 0.3 percent to A$11.06.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery gained 3.6 percent in New York yesterday as commodities and equities rallied.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer by market value, advanced 2 percent to A$35.11.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC) , a gold exploration company that owns projects in New Zealand and Philippines, surged 5.8 percent to NZ$2.91 in Wellington.

Alchemia Ltd. (ACL AU), a developer of products used in anti-cancer drugs, surged 9.4 percent to 35 Australian cents. The company said its leading cancer-treatment product showed promising results, with two lung cancer patients reporting substantial shrinkage of their tumors after 10 days.

Ansell Ltd. (ANN) , a maker of surgical gloves, gained 0.5 percent to A$13.18. The stock was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Nomura Holdings Inc.

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. (CCL) , a maker of carbonated soft drinks, sank 3.5 percent to A$11.99. The stock was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Citigroup Inc.

Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES) , a manufacturer or fertilizers and chemicals, increased 1.1 percent to A$31.88. China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. has agreed to acquire two subsidiaries of the Australian company for A$296.8 million ($293.2 million), according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net; Kana Nishizawa in Tokyo at knishizawa5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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