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Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Newcrest, Pacific Brands

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March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7 percent to 4,171 at the close in Sydney today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.3 to 3,413.79 in Wellington.

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

Energy stocks: Shares rose after crude oil for April delivery rose 1.4 percent to $106.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.

Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil producer, rose 4 percent to A$14.14. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the nation’s largest crude and gas producer, rose 0.7 percent to A$34.30.

AGL Energy Ltd. (AGK AU) gained 1.5 percent to A$13.95. The Australian electricity retailer said it completed the allocation of as much as A$650 million ($688 million) in subordinated notes.

Kagara Ltd. (KZL AU) fell 7.9 percent to 17.5 Australian cents after the base metal miner was cut to “sell” from “buy” by UBS AG.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU) rose 0.1 percent to A$30.64. Australia’s largest gold producer gained after futures for April delivery of the precious metal rebounded from a five-week low.

Pacific Brands Ltd. (PBG AU) tumbled 2.9 percent to 66.5 cents, the clothier’s biggest drop in more than four months, after a report in the Australian Financial Review that takeover talks with KKR & Co. may stall.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the world’s third-largest miner, advanced 0.4 percent to A$62.66. The company sees its global iron-ore production approaching 450 million tons a year in the next five years, executive Alan Davies said in a presentation in Germany yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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