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GPT Group, Harvey Norman, Qantas, Rio: Australian, N.Z. Stocks

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July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 2.4 percent to 4,356.70 at the close of trading in Sydney, the biggest gain since June 3. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.8 percent to 2,983.93 in Wellington.

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

Mining shares: Copper futures for September climbed 1.5 percent to $3.015 a pound in New York yesterday.

BHP Billiton (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 2 percent to A$38.16. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest mining company, gained 1.8 percent to A$67.05. CuDeco Ltd. (CDU AU), formerly known as Australian Mining Investments Ltd., jumped 10 percent to A$4.65.

Oil companies: Crude rose for a second day in New York. Oil for August delivery gained as much as 1.4 percent to $75.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, climbed 1.9 percent to A$42.09. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) increased 2.5 percent to A$12.76. New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZO NZ) rose 4.2 percent to NZ$1.24 in Wellington.

Gold producers: Bullion for immediate delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $1,204.73 an ounce at 1:25 p.m. in Singapore, rising for a second day.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, increased 2.1 percent to A$34.18. Eldorado Gold Corp. (EAU AU) gained 1.5 percent to A$19.23.

Retailers: Australian jobs growth capped the best quarter in almost four years in June, with employers adding 45,900 workers last month, a statistics bureau report showed in Sydney. That beat all 22 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (HVN AU), Australia’s biggest furniture and electronics retailer, jumped 5.8 percent to A$3.65. David Jones Ltd. (DJS AU), the nation’s second-largest department-store operator, climbed 3 percent to A$4.51.

APN News & Media Ltd. (APN AU) rose 3.1 percent to A$1.98. The publisher of newspapers in Australia and New Zealand was raised to “buy” from “hold” at BBY Limited by equity analyst Mark McDonnell.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP AU) plunged 6.9 percent to A$5.16. The miner of the metal in South Africa said five workers were killed and two injured in the company’s worst accident after a “major fall of ground” at its Marikana mine yesterday.

Boral Ltd. (BLD AU) dropped 7.5 percent to A$4.40. Australia’s largest seller of building materials raised A$490 million after competing its institutional entitlement offer, according to a regulatory filing.

GPT Group (GPT AU) advanced 1.1 percent to A$2.90. The Australian property trust is the leading bidder for the Top Ryde City shopping center in Sydney that may sell for A$700 million, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.

iSOFT Group Ltd. (ISF AU) gained 2.8 percent to 18.5 Australian cents. The health information software developer was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG by equity analyst Michael Simotas.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU) rose 3.2 percent to A$2.28. Australia’s biggest airline retained its “overweight” valuation at J.P. Morgan Securities Australia Ltd. by equity analyst Scott Carroll.

To contact the reporters for this story: Lisa Pham in Sydney at lpham14@bloomberg.net. Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net.

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