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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Iluka, Suncorp, Ten, Toll, Virgin Blue

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8 percent to 4,356 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.4 percent to 3,018.25 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:

Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU AU) lost 0.2 percent to A$5.24. The world’s biggest zircon producer reported a first-half loss on higher costs and lower margins.

Pacific Brands Ltd. (PBG AU) rose 1 percent to A$1.005. Australia’s largest maker of underwear was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” by analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd.

Suncorp-Metway Ltd. (SUN AU) gained 3.6 percent to A$8.26. The Australian insurer and lender was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty.

Ten Network Holdings Ltd. (TEN AU), Australia’s third-ranked commercial television broadcaster, fell 5.1 percent to A$1.475 after announcing plans for a new digital television channel known as “Eleven” to target younger viewers.

“‘The channel strategy is youth oriented, much like Channel 10, which lacks imagination in our view, and risks cannibalizing the existing audience on 10,” Justin Diddams, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in Sydney, said in note to clients.

Toll Holdings Ltd. (TOL AU) gained 2.7 percent to A$5.99 after Australia’s largest trucking and freight company reported full-year profit of A$279 million ($247 million).

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) jumped the most in a year, surging 13 percent to 31.5 Australian cents, after the nation’s second-largest airline swung to a full-year profit and signed a pact with Etihad.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU) rose 2.4 percent to A$27.54 after the retailer said it would buy back stock and reported an increase in profit.

New Zealand:

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR NZ) gained 4.1 percent to NZ$1.26. The nation’s biggest airline said full-year profit rose as the company reduced costs in response to declining demand from tourists and business travelers.

Nuplex Industries Ltd. (NPX NZ) advanced 6.8 percent to NZ$3.15. The New Zealand-based resin manufacturer said full-year operating profit surged 52 percent, exceeding a June 9 forecast.

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

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

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