BHP, Santos, Leighton, PanAust, Ten: 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. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

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

0.5 percent to 4,656 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index gained 3.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.7 percent to 4,624.90.

Mining shares: Copper futures for December delivery rose 1 percent to settle at $3.7935 a pound at 1:20 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, declined 0.7 percent to A$40.88 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts climbed 3.3 percent in New York trading.

Saskatchewan rejected an offer of C$370 million ($360 million) of infrastructure investment from BHP, which is trying to win support for its bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., according to an e-mail from an official of the Canadian province.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, slipped 1.7 percent to A$81.21 in Sydney.

Oil producers: Crude oil for November delivery rose 2.9 percent to settle at $81.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, slipped 0.5 percent to A$44.15.

Santos Ltd. (STO AU) dropped 2.2 percent to A$12.46. The Australian government may delay approvals for proposed coal-bed methane projects in Queensland state after Origin Energy Ltd. said it found traces of banned chemicals in exploration wells, Macquarie Group Ltd. said.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle at $1,344.20 at 1:52 p.m. in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 1.8 percent to A$39.78.

CFS Retail Property Trust (CFX AU): The real-estate trust that invests in shopping centers sold A$450 million ($438 million) of bonds in the biggest domestic debt issue by an Australian property company in more than four years. Its shares declined 0.3 percent to A$1.915.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU): The cost of Fortescue’s proposed expansion to its Solomon iron-ore project in Western Australia has climbed, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing a prospectus to investors for a high-yield bond sale. Fortescue shares sank 2.5 percent to A$6.20.

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (KCN AU): The second-largest Australia-traded gold producer by market value agreed to buy Dominion Mining Ltd. (DOM AU) for A$376 million in shares, boosting output by about 60 percent. Kingsgate shares lost 0.3 percent to A$11.71 when they last traded on Oct. 19, and Dominion slumped 5.2 percent to A$2.73.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU): ACS, the Spanish builder seeking to gain control of Hochtief AG, said Australia’s market regulator rejected a request by the German company that would have forced a buyout offer for Leighton. Leighton shares fell

1.5 percent to A$37.21.

OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL AU): The mining company’s stock was lowered to “hold” from ”accumulate” by E.L. & C. Baillieu Stockbroking Ltd. OZ Minerals fell 2.8 percent to A$1.545.

PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU): The owner of the second-largest copper mine in Laos had its rating cut to “equal-weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley. The stock dropped

3.1 percent to 77.5 Australian cents.

Ten Network Holdings Ltd. (TEN AU): Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd., a closely held company controlled by billionaire James Packer, plans to sell Ten Network’s Eye Corp outdoor advertising unit and scrap proposals for additional news programs after acquiring a 17.88 percent stake in the company, the Australian Financial Review said, citing unnamed people close to Packer. Ten’s shares jumped 9.6 percent to A$1.545.

Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU): Australia’s second-largest bank added A$200 million of bonds to its existing line of floating-rate notes due in April 2013, according to a statement to the stock exchange. The stock fell 0.6 percent to A$22.59.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU), Australia’s biggest retailer, had its stock rating cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at UBS AG led by Ben Gilbert. Woolworths yesterday reported a 4.1 percent increase in first-quarter sales, led by the company’s supermarkets. Its shares lost 0.3 percent to A$28.88.

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