ANZ, BHP, Henderson, News Corp., Rio, Virgin Blue: Australian, N.Z. Stocks

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,170.50 at 11:33 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index increased 0.1 percent to 3,312.65 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, added 1.5 percent yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.7 percent to A$36.80. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the second-largest global miner by sales, gained 0.4 percent to A$66.68.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) declined 1 percent to A$20.70. The worst performer among Australia’s four largest banking stocks this year reported an increase in second-half profit to A$2.69 billion, missing analyst estimates of A$2.78 billion.

Henderson Group Plc (HGG) tumbled 1.1 percent to A$1.775. The U.K. money manager that’s also listed in Sydney said assets under management totaled 65.4 billion pounds as of Sept. 30, down from 74.4 billion pounds at the end of June. It was cut to “add” from “buy” at Numis Securities.

Invocare Ltd. (IVC) dropped 0.7 percent to A$6.93. The funeral home company was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Linwar Securities.

News Corp. (NWSA) advanced 2.5 percent to A$16.93. The media group reported earnings that topped analysts’ estimates on gains in advertising and subscriber fees.

Perpetual Ltd. (PPT) declined 1.7 percent to A$20.94. The Australian funds manager said first-half underlying profit will be between A$26 million and A$31 million because of impact from financial markets, according to a regulatory filing.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA) advanced 1.4 percent to 37.5 Australian cents. Australia’s second-largest airline expects to double its share of corporate passengers faster than planned after Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) grounded its fleet for about 48 hours at the weekend because of labor disputes.

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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