Bloomberg News

Australian Stocks: BHP, QR National, Resolute, Woodside

March 23, 2012

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) slipped 0.1 percent to 4,270.40 at the close of trading in Sydney today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,449.30 in Wellington.

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

Mining stocks: The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum sank 2 percent, the biggest drop since March 6.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, dropped 1.2 percent to A$34.40. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) lost 1.5 percent to A$63.70.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) slumped 3.3 percent to A$2.32. The company’s shares also fell in London and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) dropped in Johannesburg as Zimbabwe accepted a proposal to hand control of their Mimosa mine to the state, locals and workers.

QR National Ltd. (QRN) fell 3.1 percent to A$3.77. The rail freight carrier widened its forecast for full-year underlying earnings before interest and tax to A$540 million to A$580 million ($561 million to $603 million).

Resolute Mining Ltd. (RSG) declined 5.8 percent to A$1.79. The constitution in Mali, where the company gets 25 percent of its revenue, was suspended and state institutions dissolved due to government “incompetence,” Lt. Amadou Konare said in a state TV broadcast in the capital of Bamako.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) advanced 1.4 percent to A$35.37. The Australian energy company expects to begin production of liquefied natural gas at its Pluto project “in the coming weeks,” followed by shipments to Japanese customers, it said yesterday in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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