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Amcor, Austar, BHP, Rio, Woodside: Australian Stocks Preview

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 were little changed at 4,867 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index climbed 1.1 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent to 4,837.90.

Mining companies: Copper futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent, rebounding from the biggest drop in three weeks, before a report that may show stronger manufacturing growth in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, added 2.1 percent to A$46.56. Its American depositary receipts advanced 1.6 percent in New York trading. BHP reached an agreement with joint venture partner Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd. to exit its license area north of the Falkland Islands.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, climbed 0.6 percent to A$84.75 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for May delivery climbed 2.4 percent to $106.72 a barrel, the highest settlement since Sept. 26, 2008, in New York amid concern the Libyan conflict will prolong production cuts.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, slipped 2 percent to A$46.80. Royal Dutch Shell Plc might be holding talks with BHP, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp. for a sale of its 24 percent stake in Woodside Petroleum Ltd., the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without citing anyone.

Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $1,439.90 at 1:53 p.m. in New York, capping the longest streak of quarterly gains, as fighting in Libya and European-debt concerns spurred demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, lost 0.3 percent to A$39.82.

Amcor Ltd. (AMC AU): Nipro Corp. (8086 JT), the Japanese medical product manufacturer plans to pay 14 billion yen ($170 million) for the pharmaceutical glass packaging business of Amcor Ltd., the Nikkei newspaper reported. Amcor shares fell 0.3 percent to A$7.06.

Austar United Communications Ltd. (AUN AU): The subscription television operator’s rival Foxtel and Liberty Global Inc. have agreed on a price for a takeover proposal, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing sources close to the talks. Austar shares rose 1.9 percent to A$1.315.

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