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BHP, Caltex, Perpetual, Roc, Woodside: Australian Stock Preview

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may rise or fall in Australia. This preview includes news announced after markets closed. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in December rose 0.9 percent to 4,696 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index advanced 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.8 percent to 4,651.90.

Mining shares: Copper prices rose to the highest level in 27 months in New York as the dollar resumed a slide.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.1 percent to A$41.18 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts fell 0.2 percent in New York trading.

Alberta’s provincial money manager, Alberta Investment Management Co., is in talks with pension funds to take an equity investment in Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to block a takeover by BHP, the Globe and Mail reported, citing unidentified people.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, slipped 0.3 percent to A$82.98 in Sydney.

Oil producers: Crude oil for November delivery increased 2.3 percent to settle at $83.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, lost 0.9 percent to A$43.94.

Bank stocks: U.S. stocks rose to a five-month high, led by financial shares, after Citigroup Inc.’s earnings topped estimates.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU), the nation’s biggest business lender, dropped 0.7 percent to A$25.32.

APA Group (APA AU): The company whose pipelines carry more than half of Australia’s natural gas had its stock rated “neutral” in new coverage by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG. The shares lost 0.5 percent to A$3.99.

Boart Longyear Ltd. (BLY AU): The Australian provider of drilling services to mining companies had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts led by Andrew Hodge at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Its shares were unchanged at A$3.63.

Caltex Australia Ltd. (CTX AU): The nation’s biggest oil refiner was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. The shares were unchanged at A$12.45.

Challenger Financial Services Group Ltd. (CGF AU): The asset manager was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. Its shares gained 3.9 percent to A$4.80.

Charter Hall Retail REIT (CQR AU): The owner of supermarkets and shopping centers had its rating cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts led by Adrian Dark at Citigroup Inc. The stock shed 0.3 percent to A$3.09.

Gunns Ltd. (GNS AU): The Australian timber-products company was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG. Its shares surged 6.7 percent to 64 Australian cents.

Perpetual Ltd. (PPT AU): The company’s stock rating was raised to “neutral” from “underweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. It was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Perpetual’s shares jumped 22 percent to A$37.80 yesterday after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. offered to buy the Australian asset manager.

Roc Oil Co. (ROC AU): The energy explorer with assets in Australia, Asia and Africa, plans to spend as much as $140 million in China in the next two years to increase oil production, Chief Executive Officer Bruce Clement said. Roc Oil dropped 1.2 percent to 42.5 Australian cents.

Telstra Corp. Ltd. (TLS AU): Australia’s biggest telephone company hired BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc to arrange a fixed-income investor call today, in preparation for a potential bond sale, according to a banker involved in the transaction. Telstra shares advanced 0.4 percent to A$2.69.

To contact the reporter for this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at

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