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James Hardie, PaperlinX, Whitehaven: Australian Stock Preview

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. The 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 dropped 0.3 percent to 4,653 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index gained 0.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.3 percent to 4,650.

Mining companies: Copper gained for the third straight session in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, slipped 1.8 percent to A$43.52. Its American depositary receipts climbed 0.5 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, dropped 1.4 percent to A$79.06 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for June delivery fell 2.3 percent to $97.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since May 6.

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

Fairfax Media Ltd. (FXJ AU): The media company is considering a sale of its broadcasting business and has hired KPMG to conduct a strategic review of the A$250 million unit, the Australian newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Fairfax slumped 4.6 percent to A$1.04.

James Hardie Industries SE (JHX AU): The largest seller of home siding in the U.S. was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG. The stock advanced 3.1 percent to A$5.67.

Medusa Mining Ltd. (MML AU): The Australian mining company said its copper portfolio now comprises nine prospects and targets after it added projects in the Philippines. Medusa retreated 1.9 percent to A$7.65.

PaperlinX Ltd. (PPX AU): The nation’s largest papermaker was downgraded to “underweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The shares were unchanged at 20.5 Australian cents.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC AU): The Australian coal producer that put itself up for sale in October had its stock rating cut to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. The stock plunged 12 percent to A$5.63.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU): The retailer will finalize the sale of A$300 million ($317 million) of shopping centers to Charter Hall Retail REIT and Telstra Corp.’s pension fund, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information. Woolworths shares sank 0.4 percent to A$26.85.

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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