Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Independence Group, Saracen, Woolworths

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) slid 1 percent to 4,255.6 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.3 percent to 3,330.85 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 (LMEX) Index of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum fell 1.2 percent yesterday.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO) slid 1.8 percent to A$66.25. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s biggest mining company, fell 1.5 percent to A$35.55.

Henderson Group Plc (HGG) tumbled 3.2 percent to A$1.82. The financial services provider said clients pulled 6.4 billion pounds ($10 billion) of assets last year. The company warned of an “uncertain” outlook for 2012.

Independence Group NL (IGO) slumped 3.6 percent to A$4.33. The mining company reported a loss of A$144.6 million ($155.5 million) in the six months through Dec. 31, swinging from a A$22.6 million gain a year earlier.

Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. (SAR) plunged 11 percent to 64.5 Australian cents, the biggest decline on Australia’s benchmark index. The gold explorer yesterday reported a 72 percent plunge in first-half profit to A$9.6 million from a year earlier.

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. (SXL) jumped 6.3 percent to A$1.345, the biggest gain on the S&P/ASX 200. The broadcasting and publishing company reported first-half net income of A$94 million, up from A$33.6 million a year ago.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW) was little changed at A$25.30. Australia’s largest retailer said group profit before interest and tax rose 3.3 percent to A$1.85 billion in the first half.

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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