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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP Billiton, CSR, Paladin Energy, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3 percent to 4,307.50 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.3 percent to 3,332.27 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: A measure of primary metals traded in London gained 1.3 percent yesterday, while copper futures rose 1.5 percent in New York as reports showed U.S. business activity and factory orders expanded at a faster pace than economists forecast. New York-traded copper dropped today.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.3 percent to A$39.87.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, added 0.8 percent to A$73.08. Rio said it received partial approval from the Zimbabwean government for a plan to boost ownership of the Murowa diamond mine by black citizens of the country.

APN News & Media Ltd. (APN AU) advanced 4.2 percent to 86.5 Australian cents. The media company said its joint venture Adshel won a tender for one of Australia’s largest outdoor contracts through which it will become the sole provider of tram-shelter advertizing.

CSR Ltd. (CSR AU) slumped 4.6 percent to A$2.47 after the company lowered its earnings forecast.

Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN AU) fell 3.3 percent to A$2.03. The Australian company producing uranium in Africa posted a full-year after-tax loss of $82.3 million compared with a $45.6 million loss the year before, according to a statement.

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