Macquarie, MSF, New Hope, Rio Tinto: 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 1.7 percent to 4,004 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index jumped 3.5 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.4 percent to 3,926.50.

Mining stocks: Copper futures rose, halting the longest slump in almost two months, on speculation that European Union officials will act to contain the debt crisis. Copper futures for December delivery gained 0.1 percent to settle at $3.106 a pound in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, jumped 3.8 percent to A$35.13. Its American depositary receipts gained 3.5 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, climbed 2.2 percent to A$60.30 in Sydney. The company announced that it reached an agreement with workers on incentives, incorporating an immediate cash payment, at the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery surged 5.3 percent to settle at $79.68 a barrel in New York after the U.S. government reported an unexpected stockpile decline in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, rose 4.1 percent to A$32.80. Santos Ltd. (STO) , Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, gained 4.4 percent to A$11.36.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery advanced $25.60 on demand for a haven to settle at $1,641.60 in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 0.1 percent to A$33.86. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) climbed 3.5 percent to A$2.10.

Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) : The investment bank appointed Vikas Dwivedi as global oil and gas economist. Macquarie’s shares gained 1.4 percent to A$21.08.

MSF Sugar Ltd. (MSF AU): The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that sugar production in Australia will climb to 4.15 million metric tons in the 2011-2012 season from 3.7 million a year earlier. Australian sugar exports will rise to 2.95 million tons from 2.75 million tons. The stock dropped 2 percent to A$3.01.

New Hope Corporation Ltd. (NHC AU): Xstrata Plc, Peabody Energy Corp. and GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd. may bid on New Hope, according to the Financial Review, after the company took preliminary steps yesterday to put itself up for sale. New Hope surged 15 percent to A$6.10.

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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