Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (AS51) index rose 0.2 percent to 4,270.50 at 1:42 p.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.7 percent to 3,472.07 in Wellington.
Mining stocks: The London Metal Exchange Index (LMEX) of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum rose 0.7 percent on March 23.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) , the world’s No. 1 mining company, fell 0.3 percent to A$34.31. Rio Tinto Group (RIO AU) lost 0.1 percent to A$63.65.
Gunns Ltd. (GNS) , an Australian forestry company, fell 3 percent to 16 Australian cents after saying that it expected to raise about A$400 million from shareholders, more than three times the company’s market value.
Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. (TEL NZ) rose 1.5 percent to NZ$2.41 in Wellington after local website Stuff reported the company was to announce a new chief executive officer “within days.”
Qantas Airways (QAN) rose 2.3 percent to A$1.77 after Australia’s largest carrier announced a joint venture low-cost airline with China Eastern Airlines Corp. to be based in Hong Kong and named Jetstar Japan.
Gold stocks rose as spot gold climbed to $1,668.10 a troy ounce intraday, its highest level in 10 days. OceanaGold Corp. (OGC) , which operates New Zealand’s largest gold mine, jumped 4 percent to A$2.475 after it announced progress was on track at its Philippines-based Didipio project.
Silver Lake Resources Ltd. (SLR AU), focused on gold-mining projects in Western Australia, gained 3.4 percent to A$3.31.
Leighton Holdings (LEI) rose 3 percent to A$23.81, its best intraday since Feb. 2, after Australia’s largest builder announced A$400 million ($419 million) in new work and a new managing director of its Asian, Indian and offshore divisions.
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