Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 2.4 percent to 4,244.10 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 1.0 percent to 3,318.87 at the close in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Oil producers: Prices dropped for the first time in six days after Italian bond yields surged to euro-era records and a German newspaper reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party wants to enable countries to exit the common currency.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company and Australia’s biggest oil producer, declined 2.2 percent to A$37.48. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), the No. 2 producer of the fuel in Australia, fell 2.6 percent to A$35.75.
Gold and base metal producers: Gold futures fell from a seven week high as the dollar surged, with investors turning to the U.S. currency on concern about the future of the euro. Base metals traded in London declined, with the London Metal Exchange Metals Index falling 1.9 percent.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM) , Australia’s No. 1 gold producer, fell 1.3 percent to A$36.40. Alacer Gold Ltd. (AQG AU), a smaller rival, dropped 2.5 percent to A$11.56. OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL) , a copper producer, dropped 3 percent to A$11.03.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) , fell 2.3 percent to A$48.83 as global banking stocks declined due to concerns about the euro-region crisis. Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU) fell 3.3 percent to A$20.86.
Myer Holdings Ltd. (MYR) , Australia’s biggest department-store operator, fell 1.2 percent to A$2.45. UBS AG raised its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral” with a price target of A$2.65.
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