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Ansell, BHP, Brambles, Rio, Woodside: Australian Stocks Preview

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. The preview includes news announced after markets closed on Sept. 9. All prices are from that day’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in September lost 1.7 percent to 4,106 as of 6:59 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index fell 3.7 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent to 4,194.70.

Mining companies: Copper futures for December delivery declined 3.4 percent on the Comex in New York. A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 3.1 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, lost 0.7 percent to A$37.91. Its American depositary receipts fell 4.1 percent in New York trading.

BHP’s coking coal miners in Australia went back on strike after failing to agree on pay and work conditions with management, further disrupting the largest exporter of the steelmaking material.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, slipped 0.1 percent to A$71.25 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude for October delivery dropped 2 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, gained 0.3 percent to A$34.02.

Woodside has reached a non-strike agreement with construction unions involved in its Pluto liquefied-natural-gas venture, the Australian Financial Review reported. The deal ensures unions won’t take part in unlawful strikes over a seven-year period, the paper said, citing proceedings at a court in Perth.

Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, fell 0.4 percent to A$11.52.

Gold producers: Gold futures rose for the second straight day in New York as renewed concern that the Greek debt crisis will worsen and signs of a slowing global economy spurred demand for the metal as a store of value.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, gained 0.8 percent to A$39.86. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) climbed 1.3 percent to A$2.33.

Ansell Ltd. (ANN AU): The maker of surgical gloves was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG. Its shares advanced 0.7 percent to A$13.60.

Cochlear Ltd. (COH AU): The maker of hearing implants said it’s undertaking a voluntary recall of the Nucleus C1500 product range after noting an increase in the failure rate of the C1512 implant. Analysts at UBS AG downgraded Cochlear to “sell’ from “neutral.” The shares fell 1.6 percent to A$72.18.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU): The world’s biggest supplier of wooden pallets has had to put back the sale of its Recall document-storage business because of global market volatility, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without saying where it got the information. The stock climbed 0.3 percent to A$6.66.

CSL Ltd. (CSL AU): The maker of blood-derived therapies was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG. The stock lost 0.6 percent to A$27.51.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU): Plans by Australia’s biggest airline to establish a joint venture with a Malaysian or Singaporean partner may not be realized until early 2013 because of the timescale needed for regulatory approvals, the Australian Financial Review reported, without saying where it got the information. Qantas shares were unchanged at A$1.585.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. (RHC AU): Australia’s biggest private-hospital operator was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG. The shares slipped 0.2 percent to A$17.69.

Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU): The Australian retailer plans to open as many as 50 branches of its Target discount department store chain in the next four years, the Australian newspaper reported, citing a senior executive. Wesfarmers shares rose 1.1 percent to A$30.85.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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