Australia, N.Z. Equities: Bandanna, BHP, Brambles, Rio, Perseus

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.1 percent to 4,142.70 at the close in Sydney today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.1 percent to 3,284.12 in Wellington.

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

Bandanna Energy (BND AU) fell 4.8 percent to 59 Australian cents. The Australian coal developer is in “detailed discussions” with a number of parties for a joint venture, Managing Director Ray Shaw said in a telephone interview.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU) fell 1.1 percent to A$35.82. The world’s biggest mining company slipped after the London Metal Exchange Index of six commodities including copper and aluminum declined 2.2 percent. Copper futures dropped the most in three weeks in New York yesterday as signs of faltering European manufacturing and service industries fueled concern that demand for industrial metals will ebb. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) declined 0.5 percent to A$62.85.

Brambles Ltd. (BXB AU) slipped 1.1 percent to A$7.28. The world’s biggest pallet maker has shortlisted private-equity firm Carlyle Group among bidders for its Recall unit, the Australian Financial Review said in its Street Talk column today, without citing a source.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA AU) fell 0.7 percent to A$49.65. The nation’s largest lender declined after a report showed Australia’s services industry shrank for a third straight month as consumer spending weakened. National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU) dropped 1.9 percent to A$23.73. Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU), the nation’s biggest retailer, lost 0.9 percent to A$25.47.

Molopo Energy Ltd. (MPO AU) slipped 0.8 percent to 61 Australian cents. The exploration company focusing on Canada and the U.S. will “look aggressively” at buying North American oil and gas assets during the next six months, Chief Executive Officer Tim Granger said in a phone interview from Calgary.

Perseus Mining Ltd. (PRU AU) gained 1.2 percent to A$2.55. The Australian mining company with operations in Ghana and Ivory Coast advanced as gold futures rose to the highest in two weeks in New York yesterday. Medusa Mining Ltd. (MML AU) increased 0.6 percent to A$4.75.

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