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Australian Stocks: Alacer, Downer, Fortescue, Rio, Transfield

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rallied 1.1 percent to 4,296 at the close in Sydney, the highest level since Dec. 5.

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 industrial metals, including copper and aluminum, jumped 2.5 percent on Feb. 3.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, gained 1.6 percent to A$38.21. Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU AU) rallied 4.9 percent to A$18.15 while OZ Minerals Ltd., Australia’s third-biggest copper producer by market value, rose 4.4 percent to A$11.28.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) jumped 2.6 percent to A$72.30. The world’s third-largest mining company is expected to boost its dividend by as much 40 percent, according to the U.K.-based Sunday Times.

Alacer Gold Corp. (AQG AU) increased 2.7 percent to A$9.20 after the miner announced a 23 percent increase in mineral reserves at its Higginsville gold operations.

Downer EDI Ltd. (DOW AU) surged 7.1 percent to A$3.79 after the engineering company won a A$570 million ($612.7 million) mining contract with Karara Mining Ltd. in Western Australia. Separately, the New South Wales state government agreed to invest $175 million in Reliance Rail, of which Downer EDI holds a 49 percent stake.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG AU), Australia’s third-largest iron-ore producer, rallied 5.7 percent to A$5.36. The Sydney Morning Herald, citing an unnamed source, reported that Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL SP) may have secured a stake in the company. “We own no shares in Fortescue,” Stephen Brown, Noble’s director of investor relations, said in an e-mail.

Orica Ltd. (ORI AU) increased 2.5 percent to A$24.85. The company plans to restart its Kooragang Island ammonia plant tomorrow after repairing a compressor.

Perpetual Ltd. (PPT AU) gained 3.8 percent to A$21.01 after announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Chris Ryan, citing “differences” with the board. The fund manager has appointed Geoff Lloyd as the company’s CEO and managing director.

Transfield Services Ltd. (TSE AU) rallied 2 percent to A$2.04. The company has hired Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and Westpac Banking Corp. to help arrange a A$250 million loan to refinance debt, according to a person familiar with the matter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in Sydney at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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