Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.4 percent to 4,859 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 1 percent to 3,472.80 in Wellington.
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 rose 1 percent, its biggest gain in more than a week.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 1.2 percent to A$47.23.
Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, added 1.2 percent to A$83.12 in Sydney.
Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery rose as much as 0.5 percent to $1,500 an ounce on the Comex in New York, extending a rally to a record.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, climbed 2.5 percent to A$41.82.
Bandanna Energy Ltd. (BND AU) surged 14 percent to A$2.12, its highest close since June 2008. The coal miner sent an information memorandum to interested parties with non-indicative bids for a sale of the company, assets or interests in its coal assets due by close of business on May 4, according to a regulatory filing. UBS AG is advising on the process.
Discovery Metals Ltd. (DML AU), an exploration and production company, jumped 5.3 percent to A$1.295. The company said its Boseto copper project is “well advanced” and is scheduled to start commissioning in the first half of 2012.
OM Holdings Ltd. (OMH AU) an Australian-traded manganese producer, fell 4.5 percent to A$1.285. The company said it will seek legal advice after shareholder votes failed to meet a threshold for a bye-law change that would allow a dual listing in Hong Kong.
PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU) advanced 4.1 percent to 76.5 Australian cents. The miner reported copper in concentrate production of 15,029 tons at the Phu Kham operation in Laos in the March quarter. The company estimates that 2011 year production at Phu Kham will be between 62,000 tons and 65,000 tons of copper in concentrate.
Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU) rose 1.4 percent to A$33.37. The company with businesses ranging from mining to insurance to retail reported total sales of A$7.5 billion at its Coles supermarkets in the third quarter, up 8.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. (TEL NZ) added 4.9 percent to NZ$2.155. New Zealand’s government agreed with Telecom and Vodafone Group Plc on the delivery of a broadband Internet network to rural areas. Telecom, the nation’s largest telephone company, and Vodafone will extend their fiber and mobile networks to deliver broadband to 750 rural schools and 86 percent of rural houses, the government said.