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Australia, New Zealand Stocks: Australian Agriculture, Devine

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose

0.1 percent to 3,960.80 as of 10:36 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.1 percent to 2,809.15 in Wellington.

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

Australian Agricultural Co. (AAC AU) slumped 5.9 percent to A$1.52. The company said it doesn’t expect to generate a profit in the first half of 2009, or potentially in the second half, citing unpredictable cattle prices.

Devine Ltd. (DVN AU), a home builder, dropped 4.3 percent to 45 Australian cents. The company cut its fiscal 2009 net profit forecast to between A$15 million ($12.3 million) and A$17 million from a previous target of between A$23 million and A$25 million, due to the deferral of a project in Brisbane.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) climbed 3.3 percent to 32 cents, headed for the highest close since April 20. Australia’s second-biggest airline may start flights between Sydney and Tokyo within 18 months in anticipation of a rebound in international travel demand, Richard Branson, the billionaire who owns about 25 percent of the carrier, said in an interview. Qantas (QAN AU), Australia’s largest airline, rose 3.3 percent to $2.17.

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