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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Atlas, BHP, Invocare, Sims, Spotless

May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 4,756.80 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.4 percent to 3,518.98 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.

Oil stocks: Oil climbed as much as 2.1 percent in New York today, rebounding from the biggest weekly decline since 2008, as the U.S. added more jobs in April than forecast, signaling demand for fuel may recover in the world’s biggest crude consumer.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), Australia’s biggest oil producer, rose 0.4 percent to A$44.75. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, climbed 1.2 percent to A$45.85.

Atlas Iron Ltd. (AGO AU) surged 3.9 percent to A$3.48. The iron-ore producer had its stock rating raised to “outperform” by analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd. The stock was previously rated “neutral,” according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Invocare Ltd. (IVC AU) advanced 2.1 percent to A$6.74. The funeral home company was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Sims Metal Management Ltd. (SGM AU) climbed 2.9 percent to A$18.03. The world’s biggest recycler of scrap metal had its stock rating raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Spotless Group Ltd. (SPT AU), a corporate-services provider, soared 13 percent to A$2.20 after receiving a A$657 million ($706 million) takeover bid from a private-equity firm. Spotless didn’t name the suitor and said the A$2.50-a-share cash offer was too low.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

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

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