Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,566.10 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, capping a weekly advance of 1.6 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was unchanged at 3,044.63 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington, taking its weekly gain to 0.3 percent.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Oil companies: Oil traded near the lowest in three days after an unexpected increase in U.S. jobless claims raised concern a slowing economic recovery will limit demand for fuel.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, fell 0.5 percent to A$42.31. Santos Ltd. (STO AU) lost 0.7 percent to A$13.48.
AWB Ltd. (AWB AU) rose 3.8 percent to A$1.10. Wheat extended a rally to the highest price in almost two years on concern that other nations may follow Russia’s export ban, and that the grain may reach $10 a bushel, a price not seen since the global food crisis in 2008. GrainCorp Ltd. (GNC AU), eastern Australia’s largest grain handler, advanced 3.2 percent to A$6.37.
ResMed Inc. (RMD AU), the world’s second-biggest maker of machines to regulate breathing for people with sleeping disorders, lost 1.9 percent to A$7.23 after reporting full-year profit. ResMed also announced a two-for-one split of the company’s outstanding shares of common stock.
Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd. (HLG NZ) jumped 6.1 percent to NZ$3.82. The New Zealand clothing retailer said full-year profit rose at least 55 percent on improved margins.