Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8 percent to 4,684.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, set for a second straight monthly advance. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 3,290 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington, poised for a fourth consecutive monthly gain.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) climbed 2.9 percent to A$24.73. The lender today said second-half profit rose 69 percent to a record as bad debts declined and lending to home buyers increased.
ING Industrial Fund (IIF AU) soared 15 percent to 53 Australian cents. Goodman Group, Australia’s largest industrial real estate investment trust, led a A$1.47 billion ($1.43 billion) group offer to buy ING Industrial Fund, owner and manager of more than 60 commercial sites and business parks.
ING Office Fund (IOF AU) jumped 5.2 percent to 61 Australian cents. The real-estate investment trust’s stock rating was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Lynas Corp. (LYC AU), building a rare-earths project in Australia, surged 8.6 percent to A$1.58. Molycorp Inc., owner of the world’s largest non-Chinese deposit of rare-earth metals, said the surge in prices is sustainable because of production and export cuts by China, the world’s biggest supplier.
OneSteel Ltd. (OST AU) declined 0.7 percent to A$2.71. The second-largest Australian producer of the alloy declined to comment on a report in the Australian Financial Review newspaper today that it was considering a bid for Anglo American Plc’s Scaw Metals Group.
Panoramic Resources Ltd. (PAN AU) plunged 6 percent to A$2.49. The mining company was downgraded to “sector perform” from “outperform” at RBC Capital Markets.
Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU) rose 1.3 percent to A$33.53. Australia’s second-largest retailer may receive bids from private equity firms for assets including its Officeworks and Blackwoods units, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column without citing anyone.
NZX Ltd. (NZX NZ), which operates New Zealand’s stock exchange, gained 0.6 percent to NZ$1.57 after having its stock rating raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG.