Bloomberg News

Australian, N.Z. Stocks: BHP, Gloucester, Leighton, IAG, Qantas

March 09, 2012

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) rose 1 percent to 4,212 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand (ANZ)’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) , Australia’s third-largest oil producer, rose 1.7 percent to A$14.38. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the nation’s largest crude and gas producer, rose 1.2 percent to A$34.71.

Buru Energy Ltd. (BRU) 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) 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. (QBE) 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) 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) 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) 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) 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.

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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