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Asciano, Iluka, Leighton, Newcrest: 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 slipped 0.1 percent to 4,933 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index declined 0.4 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,908.10.

Mining companies: Copper rose to the highest in almost two weeks in New York on signs that demand will outstrip mine output.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, declined 0.6 percent to A$47.68. Its American depositary receipts lost 0.4 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, slipped 0.1 percent to A$86 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude rose above $110 a barrel for the first time in 30 months as a fire burned at Libya’s Sarir oilfield, bolstering concern that unrest in North Africa and the Middle East will spread, curbing shipments.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, fell 0.1 percent to A$46.95.

Gold producers: Gold climbed to a record for the third straight day on demand for a hedge against inflation.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, slid 0.5 percent to A$41.50.

Asciano Group (AIO AU): Asciano’s Patrick unit will seek an order from Fair Work Australia to halt a planned strike at container ports across the country from April 9, the Australian Financial Review reported, without saying where it got the information. The Maritime Union of Australia agreed to take action over a wage dispute, the newspaper said. Asciano shares dropped 2.8 percent to A$1.72.

Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU AU): The world’s biggest zircon producer was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Macquarie Research, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Iluka’s shares were unchanged at A$13.09.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU): Australia’s largest construction company may consider raising between A$600 million and A$800 million after writedowns to projects in Australia and the Middle East, the Australian newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Macquarie Group and UBS AG may manage the raising, the newspaper said. Leighton shares fell 1.6 percent to A$28.94 when they last traded on April 6.

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