Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4 percent to 4,514.80 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2 percent to 3,424.35 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.
Gold producers: Gold futures for August delivery gained 0.9 percent to settle at a record $1,562.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York yesterday.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 0.7 percent to A$38.96. Rival OceanaGold Corp. (OGC AU) gained 4.5 percent to A$2.78.
Retailers: Australian consumer confidence fell by the most since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in 2008 as concern intensified about the European debt crisis.
David Jones Ltd. (DJS AU), Australia’s second-biggest department store chain, fell 1.8 percent to A$3.91. Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (HVN AU), the nation’s largest furniture and electrical retailer, declined 2.4 percent to A$2.41.
Alchemia Ltd. (ACL AU) jumped 30 percent to 80 Australian cents. The Australian developer of the first generic form of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s blood thinner Arixtra said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the product for sale in the U.S.
Cochlear Ltd. (COH AU) climbed 2.5 percent to A$70.84. The maker of the world’s best-selling hearing implant had its stock rating raised to “hold” from “sell” at Citigroup Inc.
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU) climbed 1.6 percent to A$6.38. The iron-ore producer is mulling a Hong Kong or Shanghai listing, the Australian newspaper reported on its website yesterday, citing an interview with Chief Executive Andrew Forrest.
Ryman Healthcare Ltd. (RYM NZ), New Zealand’s largest publicly traded retirement village manager, fell 4 percent to NZ$2.65. Tainui Group Holdings Ltd. sold its 4.5 percent holding in Ryman to help cut debt levels, website stuff.co.nz reported.