Alumina, Aristocrat, BHP, Leighton: Australian Stocks 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 December gained 1.1 percent to 3,939 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index jumped 3.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6 percent to 3,872.10.

Mining stocks: Copper futures for December delivery dropped as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its global growth forecast for this year and next. Copper futures for December delivery fell 1.5 percent to settle at $3.10 a pound in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 0.9 percent to A$33.86. Its American depositary receipts gained 4 percent in New York trading after it was boosted to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 0.5 percent to A$59 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery fell 2.5 percent to a one-year low for a third day to settle at $75.67 a barrel in New York.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, slipped 0.4 percent to A$31.51. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, erased 1.8 percent to A$10.88.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery slipped $41.70 to settle at $1,616.00 in New York. Gold futures fell the most in a week as investors sold the metal to cover losses in other markets.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 1 percent to A$33.90. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) remained unchanged at A$2.03.

Financial shares: The Australian dollar dropped to its lowest level in a year against the U.S. currency after a statement by the Reserve Bank of Australia suggested an easing of inflation pressures may pave the way for an interest-rate cut.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) , the nation’s biggest lender by market value, fell 0.8 percent to A$43.51. National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) sank 0.8 percent to A$21.46.

Alumina Ltd. (AWC) : The partner in the world’s biggest producer of the material used to make aluminum was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at Citigroup Global Markets. The stock remained unchanged at A$1.40.

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ALL) : The world’s second- largest maker of slot machines won a contract to develop a virtual casino site for Island Resort & Casino using its Oasis 360 system. It will bring the interactive site live during the second quarter of 2012. It also won a contract with the soon-to- open Maryland Live! Casino for use of the Oasis 360 system. The company gained 0.5 percent to A$2.02.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI) : Australia’s biggest builder’s Singapore-based offshore unit, Leighton Offshore Pte, won a $518 million contract for oil-export facilities in Iraq. The builder fell 0.6 percent to A$18.17.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kaitlyn Kiernan in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at

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