Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 4,911 as at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent to 3,457.63 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining companies: Copper futures for May delivery fell 1.7 percent to close at $4.3835 a pound at 1:15 p.m. in New York yesterday, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since March 9.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 0.6 percent to A$48.58. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, lost
1.5 percent to A$85.71.
Oil and airline stocks: Crude oil for May delivery fell 3.3 percent to $106.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, fell 0.5 percent to A$46.62. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) retreated 1.2 percent to A$15.55. ] Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU), Australia’s biggest airline, gained 3.8 percent to A$2.20 on optimism lower fuel prices will boost profit. Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU), the nation’s second-largest airline, rose 3.4 percent to 30.5 Australian cents.
Alumina Ltd. (AWC AU) slid 1.2 percent to A$2.50. Alumina, partner in the world’s biggest producer of the material used to make aluminum, had its stock rating cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. (ERA AU) plunged 11 percent to A$6.88 after the uranium producer controlled by Rio Tinto Group forecast a loss of as much as A$50 million ($52 million) for the first half as rain curbs output.
Goodman Group (GMG AU), Australia’s biggest industrial real estate investment trust by market value, gained 4.4 percent to 71 Australian cents after the company said it and its joint venture partner are willing to explore a deal on Prologis European assets.
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH AU) climbed 2.4 percent to A$7.41 after Australia’s biggest gambling company said third-quarter revenue growth accelerated because of its Star City casino in Sydney.
White Energy Co. (WEC AU) tumbled 7 percent to A$2.91. The Australian company and Cascade Coal Pty agreed on the mutual termination of White Energy’s acquisition. “A decision to revisit a transaction once development consent is achieved may be available in the future, on terms and conditions relevant at that time,” White Energy said.
Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC NZ) gained 3.6 percent to 29 New Zealand cents. Pyne Gould will distribute Building Society Holdings Ltd. stock to its shareholders on a ratio of 268 for every 1,000 Pyne shares held, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement.