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Austar, BHP, Fairfax, James Hardie: Australian Stock Preview

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May 18 (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 0.1 percent to 4,684 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index fell 0.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.7 percent to 4,683.90.

Mining companies: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 0.9 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, gained 1.5 percent to A$44.15. Its American depositary receipts climbed 0.8 percent in New York trading.

BHP became the first operator since BP Plc’s 2010 oil spill to meet U.S. environmental and safety requirements for an initial Gulf of Mexico exploration plan.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, advanced 1.5 percent to A$80.25 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for June delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $96.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Feb. 22.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, rose 0.5 percent to A$44.69. Rival Santos Ltd. (STO AU) gained 0.7 percent to A$14.20.

Gold producers: Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $1,480 an ounce at 2 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.8 percent to A$37.96.

Austar United Communications Ltd. (AUN AU): Foxtel and Liberty Global Inc. are in advanced talks on a A$2 billion ($2.1 billion) takeover bid by the Australian subscription television operator for Austar, the Australian newspaper reported, citing sources close to the negotiations it didn’t identify. Austar shares were unchanged at A$1.225.

Data#3 Ltd. (DTL AU): The information technology supplier had its stock rating raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. The stock dropped 2 percent to A$13.32.

Fairfax Media Ltd. (FXJ AU): Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chief Rupert Murdoch, is considering bidding for Fairfax’s A$300 million radio unit, the Australian Financial Review reported, without citing anyone. Fairfax shares were unchanged at A$1.04.

James Hardie Industries SE (JHX AU): The largest seller of home siding in the U.S. was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The shares rose 4.1 percent to A$5.90.

Silex Systems Ltd. (SLX AU): The research-and-development company was rated new “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Its shares slumped 4.3 percent to A$3.55.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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