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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Lynas, Newcrest, Rio, Woodside

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.7 percent to 4,686.80, the highest closing level since May 4, at the 4:10 p.m. finish of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.5 percent to 3,235.04 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:

Mining shares: Copper rose to the highest price in 26 months yesterday as the dollar dropped. Futures for December delivery climbed 1.7 percent to close at $3.7265 a pound at 1:32 p.m. in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, gained 2.6 percent to A$40.53. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the third-biggest miner, added 2.6 percent to A$78.99. Rio said regulators signaled they may object to a proposed iron-ore joint venture with BHP as the Age newspaper reported the deal was dead.

Oil producers: Crude oil for November delivery increased 1.7 percent to $82.82 a barrel in New York yesterday, the highest settlement since May 3.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, rose 0.7 percent to A$44.80. New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO NZ) climbed 1.5 percent to NZ$1.33.

Gold producers: Gold advanced to a record $1,344.35 an ounce today.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s largest gold producer, gained 3.5 percent to A$42.01. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) surged 4.9 percent to 42.5 Australian cents. Medusa Mining Ltd. (MML AU) jumped 8.7 percent to A$5.50. The gold explorer said shareholders approved special resolutions including an amendment of the constitution and the adoption of “proportional takeover propositions.”

Alumina Ltd. (AWC AU), partner in the world’s biggest producer of the material used to make aluminum, gained 3.3 percent to A$1.875 after its stock rating was raised to “equal-weight” from “underweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU) rose 4 percent to A$5.45. Australia’s third-largest iron-ore exporter said it settled all disputes in relation to suspended shipping contracts, with total damages of $159 million, lower than an original estimate.

Lynas Corp. (LYC AU) jumped 7.5 percent to A$1.515. The company building a rare-earths project in Australia was rated “buy” by analysts led by Levi Spry in new coverage at Deutsche Bank AG.

New Zealand:

Freightways Ltd. (FRE NZ) fell 1 percent to NZ$2.99. New Zealand’s second-biggest courier company was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG.

To contact the reporter 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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