BHP, Gloucester, Infigen, Woodside: Australian Stock Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. This preview includes news announced after markets closed yesterday. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in September slipped 0.3 percent to 4,362 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index dropped 1.7 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.7 percent to 4,384.50.

Mining shares: Copper prices fell for the first time in three sessions in New York.

BHP Billiton (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, lost 0.8 percent to A$38.49 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts lost 1.9 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest mining company, retreated 1.4 percent to A$68.60 in Sydney. Rio said a new quarterly pricing system for iron-ore sales may be scrapped if steel mills opt to buy cheaper spot cargoes of the raw material.

Oil companies: Crude oil fell from a seven-week high in New York. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, was unchanged at A$43.28, and rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) declined 0.3 percent to A$12.66.

APA Group (APA AU): The company, whose pipelines carry more than half Australia’s natural gas, is considering bidding for some of Alinta Energy Ltd.’s assets, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing an interview with APA Managing Director Mick McCormack. APA shares dipped 1.6 percent to A$3.60.

CSL Ltd. (CSL AU): CSL failed to properly test and investigate discrepancies with batches of its flu vaccines, according to a June 24 letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that was posted today on the agency’s website. CSL shares rose 0.9 percent to A$32.86.

FKP Property Group (FKP AU): The property company was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG by equity analyst John Freedman. FKP shares slumped 3.5 percent to 69.5 Australian cents.

Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU): The coal producer received an extension of the offer period for its parent Noble Group Ltd.’s A$1 billion ($875 million) takeover bid. Noble has extended the time allowed for the Australian commodities supplier to decide on the bid by a month to Aug. 4, the company said in a statement today. Gloucester shares were unchanged at A$12.44.

Infigen Energy Ltd. (IFN AU): The Australian wind energy project developer has decided to proceed with the construction of the 42-megawatt Woodlawn wind farm near Bungendore in New South Wales state, the company said. Infigen shares plunged 5.3 percent to 80.5 Australian cents.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU): Chief Executive John Borghetti wants to double the airline’s share of the corporate market to 20 percent, the Australian Financial Review reported, without saying where it got the information. Borghetti has hired Jane McKeon, Qantas Airways Ltd.’s head of government and international relations, the newspaper said. Virgin Blue shares fell 1.6 percent to 30 Australian cents.

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