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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Duet, News Corp., Tabcorp, Whitehaven

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5 percent to 4,566.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent to 3,044.67 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.


DUET Group (DUE AU) rose 1.5 percent to A$1.67. The energy asset investment company was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG.

Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU), an Australian producer controlled by Hong Kong-based Noble Group Ltd., jumped 10 percent to A$12.42 ahead of a rights offer next week.

“People are piling in,” ahead of the record date, said Lucinda Chan, division director and head of Asian business at Macquarie Private Wealth in Sydney. “The coal sector is hot at the moment.”

News Corp. (NWS AU) surged 5.3 percent to A$17.64. The owner of the Twentieth Century Fox film studio and Fox News reported fourth-quarter profit of $875 million following a year-earlier loss, when the company wrote down the value of its Internet unit.

Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN AU), an Australian mining company producing uranium in Africa, rose 7.1 percent to A$4.09. The company said it signed a preliminary sales agreement with a unit of China’s second-biggest builder of nuclear power plants.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH AU) lost 2.2 percent to A$6.76. Australia’s biggest gambling company had an 18 percent drop in second-half profit as casinos and slot machine sales fell in the absence of government stimulus that boosted earnings a year earlier. Crown Ltd. (CWN AU), Australia’s biggest casino owner, dipped 0.4 percent to A$8.15.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU) jumped 5.9 percent to A$6.07. The coal producer said it is in talks with unidentified groups about potential deals.

“Those discussions that are continuing are preliminary and remain incomplete,” Sydney-based Whitehaven said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. “It is highly uncertain whether they will lead to a proposal.”

New Zealand:

Ebos Group Ltd. (EBO NZ), a New Zealand supplier of medical equipment, rose 4.2 percent to NZ$6.70. The company said in a statement that its full-year result will be in line with market expectations.

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