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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Australand, Cabcharge, Downer, Newcrest

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July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.7 percent to 4,529.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.5 percent to 3,022.18 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington.

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

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery fell 2.1 percent to $1,161.80 an ounce in New York yesterday, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since April 26.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, declined 0.9 percent to A$32.78. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) dropped 3.2 percent to 30.5 Australian cents.

Australand Property Group (ALZ AU) advanced 3.9 percent to A$2.70. The land and housing development company was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by Linwar Securities equity analyst Richard George.

Cabcharge Australia Ltd. (CAB AU) rose 0.4 percent to A$4.60. The operator of Australia’s largest taxi-payment system was raised to “neutral” from “underweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Downer EDI Ltd. (DOW AU) surged 5.9 percent to A$4.82 after the Australian engineering company signed contracts with the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi alliance worth about A$2 billion ($1.8 billion), according to a regulatory filing.

Lihir Gold Ltd. (LGL AU) fell 0.7 percent to A$4.06 after reporting a 17 percent decline in second-quarter production as heavy rain affected mining at its African project.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU) declined 1.1 percent to A$5.44. The producer was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG.

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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