Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Alumina, BHP, JB Hi-Fi, Wotif, Woodside

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,681.30 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. The gauge has risen 2.2 percent this week.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.1 percent to 3,232.66 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington. The index advanced 0.6 percent this week.

The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $1,336.40 an ounce at 11:35 a.m. in New York yesterday.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s largest gold producer, dipped 1 percent to A$41.91. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) fell 3.5 percent to 41.5 Australian cents.

Alumina Ltd. (AWC AU) climbed 3.9 percent to A$1.985 after partner Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ expectations.

JB Hi-Fi Ltd. (JBH AU) fell 3.9 percent to A$20.50. The Australian electronics retailer was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Monadelphous Group Ltd. (MND AU) declined 1.2 percent to A$16.16. The mining services company had its stock rating cut to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts led by Owen Evans at UBS AG.

Rivercity Motorway Group (RCY AU) jumped 15 percent to 1.5 Australian cents. The toll-road operator asked lenders for a standstill agreement on paying interest on a A$1.33 billion ($1.31 billion) loan, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.

WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR AU) lost 1.7 percent to A$23.15. Australia’s biggest engineering company was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse. Holdings Ltd. (WTF AU) declined 2 percent to A$4.98 after the stock was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

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