Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.6 percent to 4,227.90 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.5 percent to 3,296.36 in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Mining stocks: The London Metal Exchange index of prices for six metals, including copper and aluminum, gained 5.9 percent yesterday, the most in three years.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s top mining company, rose 0.9 percent to A$37.17. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s second-largest miner by sales, gained 1.5 percent to A$66.63.
Billabong International Ltd. (BBG AU) jumped 8.6 percent to A$3.91. The global surfwear maker said it expects strong growth in underlying earnings in fiscal 2012, along with an improvement in cash flow.
Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (MBN AU) climbed 9.5 percent to A$1.50. The mineral exploration company said in an investor presentation that it’s on track to meet its goal of full production by the end of the year.
Oceanagold Ltd. (OGC AU), a gold producer, surged 4.6 percent to A$2.27 after New York-traded gold futures climbed 1 percent yesterday. Rival St. Barbara Ltd. (SBM AU) gained 0.9 percent to A$2.18.
Pacific Brands Ltd. (PBG AU) slumped 5.6 percent to 59.5 Australian cents. Australia’s biggest clothing maker said it expects earnings in the first half of fiscal 2012 to be “materially lower” than the year-earlier period amid weak retail conditions.
Primary Health Care Ltd. (PRY AU) fell 2.7 percent to A$3.28. The medical-tests provider was downgraded to “buy” from “strong buy” at BBY Ltd.
ResMed Inc. (RMD AU) slumped 13 percent to A$2.61. The maker of machines for night-time breathing disorders posted first-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analyst estimates.