Australia, N.Z. Equities: FKP, Dart, Leighton, Westpac
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.2 percent to 4,147.20 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,210.64 in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
FKP Property Group (FKP) surged 11 percent to 62 cents after a report the property developer may receive an offer for its A$1 billion ($1.03 billion) retirement properties. A Chinese conglomerate has been in talks with Mulpha International Bhd, FKP’s biggest shareholder, about buying its retirement assets, the Australian Financial Review reported without citing sources.
Dart Energy Ltd. (DTE) rose 9.2 percent to 47.5 cents after the creation of an international shale gas unit following three transactions that boosted the size of the gas explorer.
Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI) gained 4.4 percent to A$21.44 after Australia’s largest construction company said profit for six months to Dec. 31 is expected to be about A$270 million ($278 million) compared with earlier guidance of A$250 million.
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) fell 2.7 percent to A$4.62 after Australia’s third-largest iron-ore producer resumed production at two of its mines, suspended since Jan. 13, following flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Heidi.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s biggest mining company, fell 1.7 percent to A$35.98 after the London Metal Exchange Index of six metals declined 0.3 percent on Jan. 13.
Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) , Australia’s second-biggest bank, lost 1.5 percent to A$20.37, compared with a decline of 1.6 percent to A$23.41 for National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB AU) and 1.1 percent to A$49.51 for Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. (CBA AU). Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ AU) dropped 1.6 percent to A$20.86. The International Monetary Fund will include Australian banks in stress testing of lenders in 18 countries, the Financial Review reported.
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