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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, National Australia, Paladin, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.8 percent to 4,008.30 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, approaching slides of 6.7 percent for the month and 13 percent for the quarter.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at 3,300.17 in Wellington.

The following were among the most-active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Mining stocks: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 3.2 percent yesterday. Copper futures for December delivery dropped 5.6 percent in New York amid concerns a slowing global economy may reduce demand for the metal.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.4 percent to A$35.04. BHP sees no waning of iron-ore consumption amid a slowdown in the global economy and its order books are full, RBC Capital Markets said, citing a company presentation.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, slid 2.5 percent to A$62.45 in Sydney.

A Namibian court declared a strike at Rio’s Rossing uranium mine in the southern African country illegal, Rio said in an e-mailed statement.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery rose as much as 0.7 percent today.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, gained 0.6 percent to A$32.14. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, increased 1.9 percent to A$11.27.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery sank 2.1 percent in New York yesterday as the dollar’s rebound eroded demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, slid 2.7 percent to A$34.16. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) retreated 2.4 percent to A$2.01.

Alumina Ltd. (AWC AT), an Australian producer of alumina, gained 2.8 percent to A$1.46 on speculation recent price drops may make the company a takeover target. The decline in Alumina’s share price would make it cheaper for a rival to buy the company than develop projects, said Jamie Spiteri, Sydney-based head dealer at Shaw Stockbroking Ltd. Ltd. (CRZ AU), Australia’s automotive website, gained 1.3 percent to A$4.75. The stock was raised to “buy” from “underperform” at BBY Ltd.

CSL Ltd. (CSL AU), a maker of blood-derived therapies, gained 3.7 percent to A$29.87. The company said many of the concerns raised in audits conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010 and 2011 have been addressed.

CSG Ltd. (CSV AU), which offers computer and technology services, surged 44 percent to A$1.04. The company said it has received a non-binding, indicative and confidential proposal to acquire all its shares at A$1.20 cash each.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU), Australia’s biggest lender to companies, sank 2 percent to A$22.50. The company reiterated support for its U.K. branches after Moody’s Investors Service cut some ratings of its Clydesdale Bank in the U.K.

Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN AU), a uranium producer, tumbled 11 percent to A$1.17 after resuming trading today. The company is seeking to raise as much as A$70 million in an institutional placement to strengthen its balance sheet, according to a regulatory filing.

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