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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: David Jones, GWA, Leighton, Macquarie

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1 percent to 4,242.8 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 3,330.33 in Wellington. The following were among the most active shares in the market. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Mining stocks: The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum fell 0.8 percent yesterday. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s biggest mining company, declined 1.3 percent to A$36.17. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) slid 1.6 percent to A$69.28.

David Jones Ltd. (DJS AU) fell 3.6 percent to A$2.41, its lowest close since Jan. 27, after the department-store operator was cut to “underperform” from “neutral” by Credit Suisse Group with a share price estimate of A$2.40.

GWA Group Ltd. (GWA AU) slipped 6.9 percent to A$2.31. The household-products manufacturer said net income dropped by more than half to A$13.3 million ($14.2 million) in the fiscal first half from A$33.2 million a year earlier.

Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU) dropped 2.2 percent to A$22.87, its lowest this month. Australia’s largest construction company said yesterday it has given police information about possible illegal payments made by one of its units in connection with expanding shipping facilities for Iraqi oil.

Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG AU) fell 2.4 percent to A$26.78. The biggest investment bank in Australia cut about a tenth of its workforce in Asia last week, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Mainfreight Ltd. (MFT NZ), New Zealand’s largest trucking company, slipped 9.2 percent to NZ$9.40, the biggest drop in more than a decade after a European business it bought last year for 110 million euros ($145 million) under-performed.

Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN AU) fell 5.6 percent to A$1.70, the biggest decline since Dec. 19. The uranium producer said today its loss widened to $120.2 million in the fiscal first half from $21.1 million a year earlier.

WestSide Corp. (WCL AU) climbed 49 percent to 50.5 Australian cents after the coal-seam gas explorer said it received a takeover bid of 65 cents a share, or A$165 million, from an undisclosed party.

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