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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: Ansell, BHP, PanAust, Rio, Whitehaven

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 1.3 percent to 4,650 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.2 percent to 3,543.87 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.


Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London slid 0.2 percent on May 13. Copper in New York today dropped as much as 0.9 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.8 percent to A$43.52. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 1.4 percent to A$79.06.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for June delivery slid as much as 1.5 percent today in New York.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, lost 1.3 percent to A$44.47. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) sank 1.8 percent to A$14.10.

Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.9 percent to settle at $1,493.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York on May 13.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 1.6 percent to A$37.67. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) retreated 2.1 percent to A$1.835 after analysts at Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty. cut its stock rating to “hold” from “buy.”

Ansell Ltd. (ANN AU) dropped 0.4 percent to A$13.69. The world’s biggest maker of surgical gloves was downgraded to “neutral” at Macquarie Research. It was previously rated “outperform,” according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Boart Longyear Ltd. (BLY AU) gained 2.3 percent to A$4.37. The provider of drilling services to mining companies was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

James Hardie Industries SE (JHX AU) climbed 3.1 percent to A$5.67. The largest seller of home siding in the U.S. had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU) gained 3 percent to A$23.55 after Australia’s biggest builder reported earnings and said it sees a return to solid results.

PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU) slipped 2 percent to 73 Australian cents. The company said its Phu Kham copper-gold mining and crushing operations in Laos have been temporarily suspended after a company security vehicle was fired upon by unknown assailants on May 11.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU) plunged 12 percent to A$5.63 after saying it ended takeover talks with potential buyers.

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