Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1 percent to 4,212 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.6 to 3,433.82 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 for a third day, gaining as much as 0.4 percent to $106.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
Santos Ltd. (STO AU), Australia’s third-largest oil producer, rose 1.7 percent to A$14.38. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the nation’s largest crude and gas producer, rose 1.2 percent to A$34.71.
Buru Energy Ltd. (BRU AU) advanced 4.3 percent to A$2.70. The company reported a fiscal-first-half loss of A$5.2 million ($5.5 million) versus a profit of A$194,000 a year earlier.
Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL AU) gained 0.6 percent to A$8.10. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. received approval from the Australian government for its A$2.05 billion takeover of Gloucester Coal with some conditions.
Insurance Australia Group Ltd. (IAG AU) gained 2.8 percent to A$3.29. The insurer plans to cut about 600 jobs at its CGU unit by the end of 2015 as part of a plan to reduce costs by A$65 million.
Ivanhoe Australia Ltd. (IVA AU) jumped 1.4 percent to A$1.845. The mining company was rated new outperform by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI AU) slipped 0.9 percent to A$23.49. The construction company’s A$768 million share of a A$1.05 billion contract to deliver a jetty for the Gorgon gas project may have to be written down to zero, the Australian Financial Review said today. The stock is also trading ex-dividend today.
Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN AU) fell 2.6 percent to A$1.68. The Australian carrier and Malaysian Airline System Bhd ended talks on a partnership and potential new carrier after failing to agree on commercial terms.
Warehouse Group Ltd. (WHS NZ) rose 5.7 percent to NZ$2.80. New Zealand’s largest discount retailer said sales were improving due to a store reinvestment plan it embarked on last year.