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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: Coca-Cola, Gloucester, Woolworths, Lynas

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,263 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.4 percent to 3,387.84 in Wellington.

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

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. (CCL AU) fell 0.1 percent to A$11.93. Australia’s biggest soft-drink maker said it won’t buy the spirits unit of Foster’s Group Ltd. as it instead focuses on an existing liquor distribution agreement with Beam Inc.

Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU) rose 3.2 percent to A$8.46. The coal-mining company’s independent directors are expected to give approval this week to China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Co.’s bid to buy Gloucester, the Australian newspaper reported today.

Lynas Corp. (LYC AU) slipped 0.9 percent to A$1.13. The government of Malaysia has asked Lynas to move a residue disposal site to a location far from its rare-earth refinery plant and local communities, The Star reported March 3, citing Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Westside Corp. (WCL AU) jumped 6.7 percent to 48 Australian cents. The coal-seam gas explorer said after markets closed March 2 that it received a A$165 million ($177 million) takeover offer from Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (LNG AU). LNG added 9.3 percent to 47 Australian cents.

Western Areas NL (WSA AU) fell 4.2 percent to A$5.44. Australia’s second-biggest nickel producer said it bought Kagara Ltd.’s nickel assets for A$68 million.

Woolworths Ltd. (WOW AU) slipped 0.6 percent to A$25.24 after Chief Executive Officer Grant O’Brien told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. yesterday that Australia’s largest retailer can build its Masters home-improvement unit into a high-margin business within five years.

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