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BHP, Equinox, Lynas, News, Woodside: Australian Stocks Preview

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. The 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 June advanced 0.5 percent to 4,864 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index climbed 1.4 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.4 percent to 4,822.20.

Mining companies: Copper futures for May delivery dropped for a fifth day.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, added 2 percent to A$45.61. Its American depositary receipts advanced 1.7 percent in New York trading.

BHP said it approved $554 million of investment for the Escondida Ore Access project that will relocate crushing and conveying facilities from the mine’s main pit.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, climbed 2.4 percent to A$84.28 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to settle at $104.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, climbed 0.3 percent to A$47.75.

BG Group Plc’s outgoing Chief Financial Officer Ashley Almanza may be among candidates to replace Woodside Chief Executive Officer Don Voelte, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information.

Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at $1,424.90 at 1:38 p.m. in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 3.7 percent to A$39.93.

ASX Ltd. (ASX AU): Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board is expected to deliver its assessment of Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s proposed takeover of ASX within the next two weeks, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing a source it said was familiar with the deal. ASX shares dropped 0.9 percent to A$34.50.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd. (BEN AU): The regional lender was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock added 2.6 percent to A$9.44.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA AU): The lender is selling 750 million euros ($1.1 billion) of seven-year senior, unsecured bonds that will be priced to yield 95 basis points more than the benchmark mid-swap rate, according to a banker involved in the transaction. The stock gained 1.3 percent to A$52.53.

Rival National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU) is selling 750 million euros of three-year floating-rate notes, according to a banker involved in the transaction. Its shares advanced 1.1 percent to A$25.63.

Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN AU): Lundin Mining Corp., fending off Equinox’s C$4.3 billion ($4.4 billion) unsolicited takeover offer, said it’s considering breaking itself up and isn’t seeking a so-called white knight bidder. Equinox rose 1.8 percent to A$5.60.

Lynas Corp. (LYC AU): The Australian rare-earths developer said it will undertake a fully underwritten institutional placement to raise about A$55 million ($57 million), and a share-purchase plan to raise about A$20 million. The shares gained 0.9 percent to A$2.18 when they last traded on March 29.

News Corp. (NWS AU): The media company named James Murdoch deputy chief operating officer, bringing him to New York from London and handing him more responsibilities under his father, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. shares slipped 0.2 percent to A$17.75.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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