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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Ausenco, Aevum, Whitehaven, Kathmandu

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent to 4,542.10 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.4 percent to 3,038.13 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.

Australia:

Oil companies: Crude oil for September delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $82.54 a barrel at the 2:30 p.m. close of floor trading in New York yesterday.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, gained 0.7 percent to A$42.18.

Aevum Ltd. (AVE AU) increased 2.9 percent to A$1.625. The operator of Australian retirement communities said it is open to talks with Stockland property trust after rejecting a takeover bid from its biggest shareholder.

Ausenco Ltd. (AAX AU) fell 2.7 percent to A$2.53. The Australian engineering company was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG.

AWE Ltd. (AWE AU) jumped 5.9 percent to A$1.71. Investors who drove the shares down more than 40 percent this year in Sydney trading have overreacted to the oil and gas explorer’s disappointing drilling campaign off New Zealand, Citigroup Inc. said.

Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AXA AU), the subject of a A$13.3 billion ($12 billion) takeover offer by National Australia Bank Ltd., lost 3.5 percent to A$5.21 after saying fiscal first-half profit fell 19 percent as investment income slumped in sinking markets.

PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU) fell 1.7 percent to 59 Australian cents. The owner of the second-largest copper mine in Laos agreed to $102 million of three-year term loans from four banks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tap Oil Ltd. (TAP AU) climbed 2.2 percent to 95 Australian cents. The company, which produces oil and gas in Western Australia, was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS.

West Australian Newspaper Holdings Ltd. (WAN AU) fell 2.4 percent to A$6.85 after the publisher reported net income that missed some analyst estimates.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU) climbed 6.1 percent to A$5.73 after the Australian Financial Review reported the coal producer may have received takeover approaches.

New Zealand:

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd. (KMD NZ) tumbled 11 percent to NZ$1.82 after the retailer of outdoor equipment in New Zealand and Australia said full-year earnings missed forecasts.

To contact the reporters for this story: 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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