Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent to 4,852.10 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, capping a 1.8 percent decline this week.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,452.69 at the 5 p.m. close in Wellington. The gauge gained 0.2 percent in the week.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 0.8 percent yesterday, the fourth straight day of losses.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 1 percent to A$47.53. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, lost 1.1 percent to A$84.15.
Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $1,472.40 at 1:42 p.m. on the Comex in New York yesterday, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since April 5.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 1.5 percent to A$41.30. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) surged 3.2 percent to A$2.25.
Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd. (CVN AU) fell 4.6 percent to 31 Australian cents after the oil and gas exploration company released a production update for the March quarter.
MacArthur Coal Ltd. (MCC AU) rose 2.5 percent to A$11.93. The coal producer was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.
Perpetual Ltd. (PPT AU) rose 1.6 percent to A$29.11. The Australian fund manager was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG.
Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKT NZ) fell 0.9 percent to NZ$5.78. New Zealand’s largest pay television company had its stock rating cut to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG.