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QBE, Rio, Sonic Healthcare, Sundance: Australian Stocks Preview

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Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual moves in Australia. The preview includes news announced after markets closed. All prices are from yesterday’s close unless otherwise stated.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index futures contract due in December rose 0.5 percent to 4,027 as of 6:58 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index added 0.7 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.8 percent to 4,008.30.

Mining stocks: A measure of primary metals traded in London was little changed. Copper futures for December delivery dropped for a second day in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 1.4 percent to A$35.04. Its American depositary receipts gained 0.6 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 2.5 percent to A$62.45 in Sydney. The group’s Rossing uranium unit in Namibia won a new court order from the southern African nation’s Labor Court ruling that a strike by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia is illegal.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery gained 1.1 percent to settle at $82.14 a barrel in New York.

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

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery sank 80 cents to settle at $1,617.30 in New York.

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

QBE Insurance Group Ltd. (QBE AU): Australia’s biggest insurer may be among bidders for HSBC Holdings Plc’s insurance business, the Australian Financial Review reported in its Street Talk column, without citing anyone. AXA SA, Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. and Allianz SE are also potential buyers, according to the report. QBE shares slipped 0.6 percent to A$12.62.

Sonic Healthcare Ltd. (SHL AU): The medical diagnostics company was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at UBS AG. The shares gained 0.4 percent to A$11.80.

Sundance Resources Ltd. (SDL AU): The mineral explorer reported a full-year loss from continuing operations of $21.7 million, compared with a loss of $10.8 million in the previous year. The shares tumbled 4.7 percent to 41 Australian cents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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