Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,171.90 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index increased 0.1 percent to 3,311.51 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, added 1.5 percent yesterday.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company, was little changed at A$36.54. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the second-largest global miner by sales, gained 0.1 percent to A$66.45.
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) declined 2 percent to A$20.49. The worst performer among Australia’s four largest banking stocks this year reported an increase in second-half profit to A$2.69 billion, missing analyst estimates of A$2.78 billion.
Boral Ltd. (BLD AU) slid 2.2 percent to A$3.60. The building materials supplier said its fiscal 2012 first-half result will be lower than the same period a year ago, according to a regulatory filing.
Henderson Group Plc (HGG AU) tumbled 2 percent to A$1.76. The U.K. money manager that’s also listed in Sydney said assets under management totaled 65.4 billion pounds ($104 million) as of Sept. 30, down from 74.4 billion pounds at the end of June. It was cut to “add” from “buy” at Numis Securities.
Infigen Energy (IFN AU) plunged 11.3 percent to 23.5 Australian cents. The developer of renewable energy projects said it received approval from the state of New South Wales to build the Capital 2 wind farm. A final decision hasn’t been made by the board, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
Invocare Ltd. (IVC AU) dropped 1.2 percent to A$6.90. The funeral home company was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Linwar Securities.
News Corp. (NWS AU) advanced 4.2 percent to A$17.21. The media group reported earnings that topped analysts’ estimates on gains in advertising and subscriber fees.
Perpetual Ltd. (PPT AU) slipped 2.6 percent to A$20.74. The Australian funds manager said first-half underlying profit will be between A$26 million and A$31 million because of impact from financial markets, according to a regulatory filing.
Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. (VBA AU) advanced 1.4 percent to 37.5 Australian cents. Australia’s second-largest airline expects to double its share of corporate passengers faster than planned after Qantas Airways Ltd. grounded its fleet for about 48 hours at the weekend because of labor disputes.