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BHP, Ramsay, Virgin Blue, Woodside: Australian Stock Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. This preview includes news announced after markets closed on Oct. 1. All prices are from that day’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in December rose

0.6 percent to 4,611 as of 7:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index gained 1.1 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,579.20.

Mining shares: A measure of metals traded in London rose

1.1 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 1.4 percent to A$39.46 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts climbed 1.8 percent in New York trading.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s lawsuit seeking to block a $40 billion hostile takeover by BHP should be thrown out, the Australian company told a U.S. judge. Separately, Sinochem Group is struggling to attract funding for a rival bid on Potash, the Sunday Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, climbed 0.4 percent to A$77.07 in Sydney.

Oil companies: Crude oil for November delivery climbed 2 percent to settle at $81.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, gained 1 percent to A$44.30.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle at $1,317.80 at 1:46 p.m. in New York, capping a 1.5 percent gain for the week.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s largest gold producer, rose 0.8 percent to A$40. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) fell 2.6 percent to 38 Australian cents.

Arafura Resources Ltd. (ARU AU): Arafura is in talks to raise funds for its A$1 billion ($964 million) rare earth project in Australia after China capped exports of the metals used in hybrid cars and laptops this year and prices soared. The shares surged 4.9 percent to A$1.185.

ConnectEast Group (CEU AU): The operator of the EastLink toll road in Australia’s Victoria state said traffic is growing, with about 200,000 people using the route a day. Chairman Tony Shepherd made the comments on ABC Television yesterday. ConnectEast shares slipped 1.2 percent to 43 Australian cents.

GPT Group (GPT AU): Australia’s third-biggest property trust by market capitalization was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. GPT shares declined

1.4 percent to A$2.90.

Green Rock Energy Ltd. (GRK AU): The Perth-based geothermal power company received a A$5.4 million ($5.2 million) grant from the government of Western Australia under its Low Emissions Energy Development Fund. Green Rock shares plunged 11 percent to

1.7 Australian cents.

PaperlinX Ltd. (PPX AU): Australia’s largest papermaker was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group. The shares gained 2.3 percent to 45 Australian cents.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. (RHC AU): Australia’s biggest private-hospital operator was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. Ramsay shares lost 1.2 percent to A$15.19.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU): Australia’s second-biggest airline said it will return to its primary operating system on Oct. 6 after a computer problem disrupted travel plans. The stock was unchanged at 43.5 Australian cents.

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