Australian Stocks: Harvey Norman, Kingsgate, Macquarie, Qantas

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.5 percent to 4,232.90 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,332.77 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, fell 1.6 percent yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, declined 2.7 percent to A$36.77. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the second-largest global miner by sales, slipped 3 percent to A$67.15.

AWE Ltd. (AWE) was unchanged at A$1.39. The oil and gas explorer was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by Credit Suisse AG.

Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (HVN) slumped 3.7 percent to A$2.09. Australia’s top electronics retailer said it expects profit before taxes to fall 19 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (KCN) tumbled 6.1 percent to A$7.03. The gold producer offered A$3.75 a share to buy up the rest of Laguna Resources NL.

Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) lost 2.5 percent to A$24.30. Australia’s biggest investment bank has advanced to the second round of bidding for Royal Bank of Scotland Plc’s aircraft leasing unit, the Australian Financial Review reported, without citing a source.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) gained 1.1 percent to A$1.63. Australia’s biggest airline expects to clear the backlog of domestic passengers from the grounding of its fleet over the weekend by this afternoon, it said in an e-mailed statement.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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