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New Hope, Tower, Mirvac: Australia, New Zealand Stocks Preview

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 fell 2 percent to 3,919 as of 6:58 a.m. in Sydney. The Bank of New York Australia ADR Index lost 3.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,008.60.

Mining stocks: A measure of primary metals traded in London fell 3.4 percent. Copper futures for December delivery dropped for a third day in New York.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 0.1 percent to A$35.02. Its American depositary receipts fell 2.8 percent in New York trading.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, declined 1 percent to A$61.80 in Sydney.

Oil stocks: Crude oil for November delivery fell $2.94 to $79.20 a barrel in New York.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, climbed 1.1 percent to A$32.48. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, added 0.9 percent to A$11.37.

Gold producers: Gold futures for December delivery gained $5 to settle at $1,622.30 in New York.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, lost 0.2 percent to A$34.08. St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) gained 2 percent to A$2.05.

New Hope Corp. (NHC AU) and Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU) were named as potential targets of a “major acquisition” planned by Xstrata Plc in Australia, in the Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk column on Sept. 30.

Tower Ltd. (TWR NZ), a New Zealand insurer, said it put in place reinsurance for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012, and will raise premiums on home, contents and motor vehicle policies as a result of rates charged by its reinsurers.

Mirvac Group (MGR AU), an Australian property and development group, said it entered into a binding agreement to sell a 50 percent stake in the Hoxton Distribution Park for A$97.4 million.

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