March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 4,837.90 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, completing its third straight quarterly gain.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.2 percent to 3,439.85 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington for its 12th straight day of gains, the longest winning streak since April 2006.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd. (BEN AU) gained 1 percent to A$9.53. The regional lender was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU AU), the world’s biggest zircon producer, surged 8.8 percent to A$13.30 amid takeover speculation as prices gain on demand from China.
“It’s really the corporate appeal given there’s been a lot of talk of mergers and acquisitions,” Lucinda Chan, division director and head of Asian business at Macquarie Private Wealth in Sydney, said by phone.
Lynas Corp. (LYC AU) rose 3.2 percent to A$2.25. Sojitz Corp. and the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. will jointly provide $250 million to Australia’s Lynas in loans and investment, Sojitz said in a press release.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, fell 2 percent to A$46.80. BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s largest oil company, gained 2 percent to A$46.56. BHP is unlikely to pay the A$47 billion ($48.5 billion) that may be required to buy Woodside, Citigroup Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at email@example.com.