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BHP, Caltex, Qantas, Telstra, Santos: Australian Stocks Preview

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June 21 (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 gained 0.8 percent to 4,484 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index climbed 0.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent to 4,451.70.

Mining companies: Copper fell to a three-week low after European governments faltered in efforts to save Greece from a debt default. A measure of primary metals traded in London retreated 0.8 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.4 percent to A$41.36. Its American depositary receipts gained 0.4 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 0.7 percent to A$77.30 in Sydney.

Caltex Australia Ltd. (CTX AU): The Australian oil refiner was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares slumped 6.9 percent to A$10.60.

Charter Hall Group (CHC AU): The Australian real-estate investment trust was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG. The company’s shares gained 1 percent to A$2.05.

Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. (EGP AU): The casino owner was rated new “hold” by analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. The stock lost 0.8 percent to A$3.98.

Incitec Pivot Ltd. (IPL AU): Australia’s largest fertilizer maker is continuing to participate in the formal sales process for Burrup Fertilisers Pty, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing Managing Director James Fazzino. Burrup is not a “must-have asset” and Incitec “will continue to be financially disciplined,” the newspaper cited Fazzino as saying. Incitec shares retreated 0.8 percent to A$3.68.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU): Qantas, Australia’s biggest airline, and Virgin Australia canceled flights serving Adelaide today and may halt more because of the return of a volcanic ash cloud that disrupted travel last week. Separately, Sky News reported that Qantas will suspend Sydney flights from 3 p.m. today. Qantas shares were unchanged at A$1.82. Those of Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) slid 1.8 percent to 28 Australian cents.

Santos Ltd. (STO AU): Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Citigroup Inc. Its shares sank 1.8 percent to A$13.14.

Telstra Corp. (TLS AU): Australia may announce as early as June 23 a definitive agreement for Telstra to hand its fixed-line phone network to the National Broadband Network Co., the Australian Financial Review reported, without saying where it got the information. Telstra will agree to use the broadband network to supply its retail customers for 20 years, the Review said, citing the 1,700-page deal. Shares in Australia’s biggest phone company fell 0.3 percent to A$3.03.

Valad Property Group (VPG AU): The Sydney-based property investor borrowed A$201 million ($213 million) in a two-part loan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Valad shares were unchanged at A$1.755.

Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU): The Australian company with businesses ranging from mining to insurance and retail was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The stock added 0.2 percent to A$31.53.

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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