Australia stocks: Rio Tinto up on report; Qantas falls
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australia's S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) was little changed early Wednesday as the market remained in a holding pattern ahead of a parade of Chinese data, including second-quarter economic growth and industrial and retail results for June. Shares of Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO)(RIO) traded 1% higher after the mining major's first-half production report showed strong output gains, which Goldman Sachs described as a "solid result." Other miners were mostly higher, with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG)(FSUMF) up 1.9%, BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP)(BHP) edging up 0.3%, and Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (AU:WHC) rising 1.3% as Deutsche Bank said the coal extractor may seek a buyer for its Vickery assets. Shares of Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL)(OZMLF) gained 1.2%, as Dow Jones Newswires noted BBY upgrading the stock to buy from underperform, but Credit Suisse cutting its outlook for Oz's dividend. Notable decliners included Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR)(KRNGF), falling 1.5% as UBS highlighted risks from its recent sale of its stake in Australia's offshore Poseidon gas field. And stock in Qantas Airways Ltd. (AU:QAN)(QUBSF) lost 1.4% on news that amendments to the Qantas Sales Act will raise limits on foreign investment in the airline but won't allow foreign interests to take a majority stake.
-Michael Kitchen; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires