Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.6 percent to 4,204.30 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 2.1 percent to 3,325.12 in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining stocks: Copper futures for December delivery fell 2.3 percent on the Comex in New York yesterday.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s leading mining company, fell 0.8 percent to A$37.08. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest miner by sales, dropped 0.8 percent to A$67.46.
Oil stocks: Crude futures fell for the first day in six today in New York on concern fuel demand will decline as Europe struggles with its debt crisis and U.S. crude supplies swell.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) , Australia’s second- biggest oil and gas producer, declined 0.7 percent to A$35.36. Santos Ltd. (STO) , the nation’s third-largest oil and gas company, lost 1.3 percent to A$12.49.
Alumina Ltd. (AWC) dropped 2.5 percent to A$1.555. Alcoa Inc. reported third-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as raw-materials costs rose and global demand slowed. Alumina owns 40 percent of the Alcoa World Alumina & Chemical venture with Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, holding the balance.
JB Hi-Fi Ltd. (JBH) gained 3.5 percent to A$14.36. The retailer said it remains on track to open 10 new stores by Christmas, even as the company reported first-quarter comparable store sales slid 3.5 percent.
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH) gained 4.2 percent to A$2.71 after the gambling and entertainment company said first-quarter revenue rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier.
Fletcher Building Ltd. (FBU) tumbled 12 percent to NZ$6.92 after New Zealand’s largest construction company said first-half profit may fall 10 percent from a year earlier because of weak residential and commercial markets in New Zealand and Australia.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at email@example.com