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Australia, N.Z. Stocks: AWE, BHP, Newcrest, Paladin, Wesfarmers

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April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent to 4,360.40 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.2 percent to 3,519.86 in Wellington.

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 sank 1.6 percent yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP AU), the world’s largest mining company, slid 0.7 percent to A$35.08. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU), the third-biggest, fell 1.6 percent to A$65.60.

AWE Ltd. (AWE AU) slumped 5.2 percent to A$1.81 as Citigroup Inc. cuts its recommendation on the oil and natural gas explorer to “neutral” from “buy.”

Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (MBN AU) gained 5.3 percent to 49.5 Australian cents even after reporting output of the metal declined from the previous quarter. The shares slumped 18 percent this month through yesterday before today’s production report.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM AU) dropped 3.6 percent to A$26.60, the lowest level since December 2008. Australia’s largest gold miner cut its annual target for production of the precious metal after heavy rain reduced output in the third quarter, missing analyst estimates.

Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN AU) slumped 6.3 percent to A$1.575, the lowest since January. The Australian uranium miner with projects in Namibia and Malawi resumed trading after announcing plans to sell at least $225 million of five-year convertible notes.

Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES AU) climbed 1.8 percent to A$29.88. Australia’s second-largest retailer said third-quarter sales at its Coles supermarket chain rose 4.9 percent as discounts on everyday staples boosted customer numbers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at

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