Newcrest Mining, Aquila, Perseus: Australian, N.Z. Equities

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent to 4,293.80 at the close of Sydney trading. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,351.24 in Wellington.

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

Commodity stocks: Gold futures rose to a six week high, and iron ore for immediate delivery gained after slumping over 30 percent last month.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s No. 1 mining company and the third largest exporter of iron ore, rose 0.1 percent to A$37.75. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the second-biggest iron ore exporter, gained 1.4 percent to A$69.77.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU), Australia’s biggest gold producer, rose 1 percent to A$36.06. The company is raising $1 billion through a U.S. bond sale to diversify funding.

Aquila Resources Ltd. (AQA AU), developing iron ore and coal mines, rose 6.9 percent to a three-month high of A$6.65. Aquila said talks are nearing completion with China Development Bank Corp. to fund an iron-ore and port development in Western Australia.

Perseus Mining Ltd. (PRU AU), a gold developer, gained 5.7 percent to A$3.51 as gold prices held near six-week highs.

Myer Holdings Ltd. (MYR AU) fell 4.1 percent to A$2.33. The department-store operator is scheduled to announce first-quarter sales tomorrow, expected to fall around 4.5 percent, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

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