Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Contact Energy, Aston, Transurban Group

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) fell 0.6 percent to 4,265.70 at 1:44 p.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,484.60 in Wellington.

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

Aston Resources Ltd. (AZT) fell 2.9 percent to A$9.11 after Itochu Corp. (8001) said it sold its entire stake in the company because it has already acquired the coal rights held by Aston.

Contact Energy Ltd. (CEN) declined as much as 3.8 percent to NZ$4.60. New Zealand’s biggest publicly-traded power company fell to near an eight-year low because an overhaul of the nation’s benchmark index will cut the stock’s weighting.

New Hope Corp Ltd. (NHC) dropped 1.3 percent to A$5.46 after the coal producer reported first half adjusted net income of A$101.1 million ($107.2 million).

Oil Search Ltd. (OSH) rose 0.1 percent to A$6.97 after earlier declining 0.9 percent. Exxon Mobil Corp., its partner in a $15.7 billion Papua New Guinea natural gas project, said work had been temporarily suspended in the Hides area.

Platinum Australia Ltd. (PLA) was little changed at 6.5 Australian cents after the operator of a mine in South Africa said it is considering a Chinese partner to develop a $170 million project in Western Australia.

Transurban Group (TCL) dropped as much as 3.9 percent to A$5.47. Australia’s biggest operator of toll roads fell the most in seven months in Sydney after the company’s biggest shareholder sold a 7.9 percent stake at a discount.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at bsharples@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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