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BHP, Billabong, Discovery, Mirabela: Australian, N.Z. Equities

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,225.10 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.6 percent to 3,295.02 in Wellington.

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

Mining companies: Stocks in the sector dropped after the London Metal Exchange Index of six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum fell 1.1 percent on Jan. 20. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s biggest miner, declined 0.6 percent to A$37.24. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU) shed 3.7 percent to A$5.

Discovery Metals Ltd. (DML AU) jumped 8.4 percent to A$1.615, its highest level since listing in 2003, after the Australian Financial Review newspaper reported that the copper and nickel producer may be a takeover target for OZ Minerals Ltd.

Billabong International Ltd. (BBG AU), the world’s second-largest listed surf-wear company, climbed the most in a month with a 6.4 percent increase to A$1.985.

Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (MBN AU) was the worst performer on the benchmark index, dropping 6.5 percent to A$1.215 after fourth-quarter results from its Brazilian operations showed an 11 percent increase in production costs.

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