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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: APA, PanAust, Newcrest, Qantas, Rio

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose

2.3 percent to 4,162.90 at the close of trading in Sydney, its biggest weekly gain since the week ended Sept. 10 last year.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 1.1 percent to 3,383.64 in Wellington for its second straight weekly advance.

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

Mining stocks: Copper futures jumped 4.5 percent in New York yesterday on speculation that European officials will contain the region’s debt crisis.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, jumped 2.5 percent to A$37.20. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest mining company by sales, climbed 4.9 percent to A$66.40.

Rio and partner Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. announced that the Mongolian government will honor their agreement on the $10 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper project, halting a proposal by the Asian nation to increase its holdings in the mine to 50 percent from 34 percent.

Panoramic Resources Ltd (PAN AU), a copper and nickel miner jumped 15 percent to A$1.42.

Oil stocks: Crude oil rose 3.7 percent in New York yesterday after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet announced a bond-purchase program to stimulate economic growth.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, rose 2.2 percent to A$35.08. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, gained 3.6 percent to A$12.02.

APA Group (APA AU) rose 0.9 percent to A$4.12. The company, whose pipelines carry more than half of Australia’s natural gas, will jointly develop a gas-fired power station at Mount Isa, Queensland, with AGL Energy Ltd. (AGK AU). AGL lost 1 percent to A$14.28.

Gindalbie Metals Ltd. (GBG AU), an iron-ore exploration and mining company, jumped 12 percent to 0.555 Australian cents. Credit Suisse Group AG raised its target share price on the company to A$1.60 from 95 Australian cents.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 2 percent to A$35.76 after gold futures for December delivery advanced 0.7 percent yesterday in New York.

PanAust Ltd. (PNA AU) surged 7.8 percent to A$2.90. The copper miner was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by Credit Suisse Group AG.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU) gained 3.5 percent to A$1.495. Australia’s biggest airline confirmed an order for 110 Airbus A320-series planes as it renews its fleet and adds overseas ventures to accommodate Asian travel growth. The airline also reached an agreement with short-haul cabin-crew union leaders on a three-year pay deal.

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