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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Flight Centre, NAB, Rio, Woolworths

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 2.5 percent to 4,348.20 at the close 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. Trading was halted for four hours just after the open due to a technical glitch. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.2 percent to 3,303.47 in Wellington.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Mining stocks: The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six metals, including copper and aluminum, rose 0.5 percent yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s top mining company, rose 3.8 percent to A$38.35. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the No. 2 miner by sales, gained 4.4 percent to A$69.70.

Flight Centre Ltd. (FLT) jumped 5.1 percent to A$19.50. The travel agency operator released preliminary guidance of underlying pretax profit of A$265 million to A$275 million, excluding any major abnormal items that may arise.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) , the country’s best- performing banking stock this year, added 3.7 percent to A$25.87. The lender said second-half profit rose 31 percent to A$2.79 billion as it won a bigger slice of the nation’s mortgage market with discounted loans.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC) gained 2.8 percent to A$5.95. The coal producer said it has received state approval from New South Wales for its Werris Creek Mine extension, according to a regulatory filing.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW) shares slipped 0.3 percent to A$24.08. Australia’s biggest retailer said first-quarter sales rose at the slowest rate in six months as general merchandise sales declined.

New Zealand:

Freightways Ltd. (FRE) shares gained 3.3 percent to NZ$3.42. The package services company reported a net profit of NZ$8.04 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, according to a statement today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at

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

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