BHP, OneSteel, Seek, Rio, Woodside: 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 on Nov. 12. All prices are from that day’s close unless otherwise stated.

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

0.4 percent to 4,689 as of 7:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index slipped 2.6 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.8 percent to 4,692.70.

Mining shares: Copper tumbled the most in four months in New York and fell from a record in London on concern that China’s bid to rein in inflation will cool demand for industrial metals.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, lost 0.7 percent to A$44.30 in Sydney. Its American depositary receipts slipped 2.9 percent in New York trading.

BHP said it has withdrawn its offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. The company said it reactivated its buy-back program.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-biggest miner, retreated 0.6 percent to A$86.86 in Sydney.

Oil producers: Crude oil for December delivery fell 3.3 percent to settle at $84.88 a barrel in New York.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, gained 0.8 percent to A$43.08. Santos Ltd. (STO AU) dropped 0.3 percent to A$13.37

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery fell 2.7 percent to settle at $1,365.50 at 1:49 p.m. in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 1.3 percent to A$42.51.

Banking stocks: Australia’s Greens party said it will introduce legislation in the lower house in a bid to place restraints on the ability of Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU) and its closest competitors to increase mortgage interest rates.

Westpac’s shares rose 0.1 percent to A$21.94.

Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ABC AU): The Australian producer of construction materials was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The company’s shares advanced 0.3 percent to A$3.09.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU): The world’s biggest supplier of wooden pallets reported its proposed acquisition of IFCO Systems NV for an enterprise value of 923 million euros ($1.26 billion). The company also said it expects financial year profit before interest costs and tax to be between $740 million and $780 million. Brambles shares lost 1.4 percent to A$6.53.

James Hardie Industries (JHX AU): The biggest seller of home siding in the U.S. reported a first-half loss of $318.8 million in a statement to the Australian stock exchange today. The stock dropped 1.9 percent to A$5.65.

OneSteel Ltd. (OST AU): Australia’s second-largest producer of the metal will pay $932 million for Anglo American Plc’s Moly-Cop and AltaSteel units as the owner of some of the world’s biggest diamond and platinum mines sheds assets. OneSteel shares climbed 3.4 percent to A$2.74.

Perpetual Ltd. (PPT AU): TPG Capital, CVC Asia Pacific Ltd. and Pacific Equity Partners were among private equity groups to have looked at Perpetual, as KKR & Co. LP continues talks over access to due diligence, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information. Perpetual’s shares declined 0.9 percent to A$36.

PMP Ltd. (PMP AU): Australia’s largest contract printer was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The stock slumped 4.8 percent to 70 Australian cents.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU): A Qantas Melbourne-bound flight was forced to return to the Sydney terminal yesterday after the plane experienced engine trouble while taxiing, reported, citing an airline spokesman.

Separately, Qantas is hoping to resume Airbus SAS A380 services “in days, not weeks,” spokesman Tom Woodward said in a telephone interview on Nov. 13. Qantas shares lost 2.4 percent to A$2.80.

Seek Ltd. (SEK AU): The Internet job-advertisement site was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Its shares fell 4.3 percent to A$6.70.

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