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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Fortescue, Karoon Gas, Newcrest

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent to 4,697.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index increased 0.1 percent to 3,234.89 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 futures for December delivery rose 2.6 percent to close at $3.7745 a pound at 1:30 p.m. in New York on Oct. 8.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, rose 1.1 percent to A$41.45. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, advanced 0.7 percent to A$80.09. PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU), owner of the second-largest copper mine in Laos, jumped 11 percent to 82.5 Australian cents.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU) surged 7.8 percent to A$6.25. Australia’s third-largest iron-ore exporter signed a $2.04 billion loan to replace project-based notes as it seeks to expand its mining operations.

Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (KAR AU) gained 3.3 percent to A$9.09. ConocoPhillips’ partner in a venture off Australia’s northwest coast said an initial public offering of its assets in Brazil and Peru may take place “shortly” with the company expecting to sell about 30 percent of its assets in the region through the process.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s largest gold producer, climbed 0.6 percent to A$42.16. Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at $1,345.30 at 1:49 p.m. in New York on Oct. 8.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) dropped 3.2 percent to 45 Australian cents after saying a systems outage may cost as much as A$20 million ($19.7 million) in pre-tax profit.

New Zealand:

NZX Ltd. (NZX NZ) advanced 1.2 percent to NZ$1.64 after an agreement with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to maintain separate and competing clearing and settlement systems with full interoperability between them.

Pike River Coal Co. (PRC NZ) gained 6.2 percent to NZ$1.20 after the company, which mines on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, reported an increase in production.

To contact the reporter for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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