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Commonwealth Bank, Mount Gibson, UGL: Australian Stocks Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. This 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 gained 0.2 percent to 4,882 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index fell 0.05 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,873.

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London gained 0.3 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 0.3 percent to A$46.29. Its American depositary receipts declined 0.1 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, lost 0.1 percent to A$83.37 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Oil rose to a 31-month high in New York as the dollar weakened to its lowest level since 2008 against other major currencies and gasoline futures jumped. Futures for June delivery added 10 cents settle at $112.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest closing price since Sept. 22, 2008.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, rose 0.7 percent to A$47.65. Santos Ltd. (STO AU) lost 0.6 percent to A$15.51.

Gold producers: Gold futures surged to a record for the second straight day after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to keep borrowing costs low, eroding prospects for the dollar and boosting demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Futures for June delivery rose $14.10 to $1,531.20 an ounce at 1:49 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, was unchanged at A$42.02.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA AU): The lender had its stock rating raised to “outperform” by analysts at Macquarie Research. The stock added 1.1 percent to A$53.66.

Goodman Fielder Ltd. (GFF AU): Australia’s largest baker had its stock rating cut to “underweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan. The stock dropped 9.1 percent to A$1.055

Mount Gibson Iron Ltd. (MGX AU): The iron-ore producer said rain and flooding at some of its operations caused a 41 percent drop in ore sales in the three months ended March 31 from the previous quarter. The stock declined 1.5 percent to A$1.915.

UGL Ltd. (UGL AU): The company with businesses ranging from engineering to property services had its stock rating cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse. The stock declined 1.3 percent to A$15.57.

Village Roadshow Ltd. (VRL AU): The distributor of films and videos had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank. The stock added 3 percent to A$4.16.

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