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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Charter, QR National, Telstra, Rio

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1 percent to 4,269.20 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,317.73 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: Copper futures in New York rose as much as 1.2 percent today after U.S. consumer spending and car sales increased and companies across Asia reported profit that beat estimates.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.5 percent to A$39.35. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, gained 1.7 percent to A$71.79.

Ausdrill Ltd. (ASL AU) advanced 1.5 percent to A$3.36. The drilling-services company reported a 52 percent increase in full-year net profit.

Charter Hall Office REIT (CQO AU) fell 0.9 percent to A$3.34. The real-estate investment company was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (MQA AU) gained 7.5 percent to A$1.585 after the toll-road manager was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

QR National Ltd. (QRN AU) climbed 4.4 percent to A$3.34. Australia’s largest coal-train operator was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG.

Telecom Corp. of New Zealand (TEL AU) fell 0.5 percent to A$2.12 after New Zealand approved its plan to split its assets after its structural separation, the first step in a proposed demerger, according to a statement from Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce.

Telstra Corp. (TLS AU) fell 2.6 percent to A$2.99. Australia’s antitrust regulator told Telstra it needs to revise a plan to split off its fixed-line network assets to ensure that rivals have fair access to its network. In June, Telstra agreed with the government to cede control of the nation’s only fixed-line network in exchange for compensation worth A$11 billion ($11.7 billion) so that a national broadband network could be built.

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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