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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Aquarius, BlueScope, Fairfax, Navitas

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose for the first time in three days, climbing 0.3 percent to 4,753.70 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.1 percent to 3,498.99 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.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) advanced 0.3 percent to A$81.09. The mining company sees favorable, albeit volatile market conditions for the company, Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese told shareholders in a copy of a speech obtained by Bloomberg at the company’s annual general meeting in Perth today.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP AU) surged 11 percent to A$5.47, the biggest gain in the S&P/ASX 200. The world’s fourth-largest producer of the metal said it acquired the mining rights on farms adjacent to the Everest Mine in South Africa, expanding its resources by almost a quarter with the 1.2 billion-rand ($180.9 million) purchase.

BlueScope Steel Ltd. (BSL AU) lost 2.7 percent to A$1.615. Australia’s largest steelmaker was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Extract Resources Ltd. (EXT AU) added 0.9 percent to A$7.70. The explorer proposing a $1.7 billion uranium venture in Namibia, was raised to “buy” at Merrill Lynch.

Fairfax Media Ltd. (FXJ AU) lost 3.8 percent to A$1.14. Australia’s second-largest newspaper publisher was cut to “underperform” from “strong buy” at BBY Ltd.

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (KCN AU) rose 5 percent to A$8.03. The gold producer had its stock rating raised to “neutral” at Merrill Lynch.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU) climbed 2.4 percent to A$27.01. The nation’s best-performing bank stock this year reported first-half profit that rose 16 percent to A$2.43 billion ($2.61 billion).

Navitas Ltd. (NVT AU) jumped 2 percent to A$4.03. The educational services provider was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty.

News Corp. (NWS AU) Class B shares tumbled 3.4 percent to A$16.69. The owner of Fox Broadcasting and the Twentieth Century Fox film studio said third-quarter profit declined 24 percent on falling movie revenue.

Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU) slipped 1.6 percent to A$23.73. Australia’s second-biggest lender had its rating cut to “hold” from “buy” at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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