Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.6 percent to 4,884.20 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,454.48 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 2 percent to close at $4.2945 a pound at 1:17 p.m. on the Comex in New York yesterday, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since March 9.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 1.2 percent to A$48.01. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, lost 0.7 percent to A$85.12.
Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. (ERA AU) fell 4.7 percent to A$6.56. The uranium company had its stock rating cut to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (KCN AU) fell 5 percent to A$7.82. The gold producer had its stock rating cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG.
Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU), Australia’s largest construction company, plunged 12 percent to A$24.93 on the first day of trading since the company forecast a full-year loss and raised A$757 million ($793 million) selling new shares at a discount.
OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL AU) retreated 4.1 percent to A$1.525 after the Australian copper and gold producer said first-quarter copper production fell 19 percent as ore grades dropped.
Transfield Services Ltd. (TSE AU) climbed 4.6 percent to A$3.42. The provider of services to the oil and gas industry said it secured a contract with QGC for building and maintenance services at its coal-seam-gas operations in Queensland.
Webjet Ltd. (WEB AU) climbed 1.5 percent to A$2.08. The online travel-services provider had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd. (HLG NZ) gained 5 percent to NZ$4 after the stock was rated new “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG.