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Aussie stocks snap winning streak, NZ at new peak

Written by: Staff
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SYDNEY, Apr 4 (Reuters) Australian shares peeled back from record peaks on Tuesday to end lower, as banking sector stocks such as ANZ Banking slipped, but strong metals prices lifted miners like BHP and Lihir Gold.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 18.0 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,162.5, based on the latest Reuters data, after setting record closing peaks for four straight days to Monday's finish.

''With the major resource stocks, the fundamentals still look very attractive,'' said Frank Villante, chief investment officer with Souls Funds Management. But the market being driven by only a handful of stocks was a risk, he added.

BHP Billiton shares have jumped about 29 percent in 2006 while Rio Tinto shares gained some 16 percent, propelling the main share index up 8.4. The commodities boom has helped the index to log a 58.4 percent rise in the previous three years.

BHP and Rio account for almost 13 percent of the headline index.

''People are now starting to believe the earnings base for the mining companies has altered and the medium-term earnings prospects aren't going to deteriorate, if anything, they may continue to improve,'' Villante added.

New Zealand shares firmed, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index scaling a life-high of 3,761.74. The index rose 34.48 points, or 0.93 percent, to 3,739.547, setting a new record closing peak for an eighth straight day.

Top stock Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to NZ.62 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Telecom to NZ.30 per share. For details: [ID:nSYD154780].

STOCKS TO WATCH * Orica Ltd., the world's top maker of commercial explosives, added 3.5 percent to a new closing peak of A.85 on expectations of strong demand for rival Dyno Nobel Ltd.'s initial public offer.

Institutions will bid in a range of A.89-A SYDNEY, Apr 4 (Reuters) Australian shares peeled back from record peaks on Tuesday to end lower, as banking sector stocks such as ANZ Banking slipped, but strong metals prices lifted miners like BHP and Lihir Gold.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 18.0 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,162.5, based on the latest Reuters data, after setting record closing peaks for four straight days to Monday's finish.

''With the major resource stocks, the fundamentals still look very attractive,'' said Frank Villante, chief investment officer with Souls Funds Management. But the market being driven by only a handful of stocks was a risk, he added.

BHP Billiton shares have jumped about 29 percent in 2006 while Rio Tinto shares gained some 16 percent, propelling the main share index up 8.4. The commodities boom has helped the index to log a 58.4 percent rise in the previous three years.

BHP and Rio account for almost 13 percent of the headline index.

''People are now starting to believe the earnings base for the mining companies has altered and the medium-term earnings prospects aren't going to deteriorate, if anything, they may continue to improve,'' Villante added.

New Zealand shares firmed, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index scaling a life-high of 3,761.74. The index rose 34.48 points, or 0.93 percent, to 3,739.547, setting a new record closing peak for an eighth straight day.

Top stock Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to NZ$5.62 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Telecom to NZ$6.30 per share. For details: [ID:nSYD154780].

STOCKS TO WATCH * Orica Ltd., the world's top maker of commercial explosives, added 3.5 percent to a new closing peak of A$23.85 on expectations of strong demand for rival Dyno Nobel Ltd.'s initial public offer.

Institutions will bid in a range of A$1.89-A$2.27 per share for the offer which closes on Wednesday.

* Macquarie Bank Ltd., the nation's top investment bank, added 1.7 percent to A$66.05. A Macquarie-led consortium is selling a 57 percent stake in the Dyno Nobel IPO.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the nation's third-biggest bank by market value, fell 1.4 percent to A$26.39 and National Australia Bank Ltd., the top bank by assets, slipped 0.8 percent to A$37.08 as rising bond yields made high dividend paying stocks less attractive.

* Gindalbie Metals Ltd. jumped 29.6 percent to a new closing peak of A$0.70 on announcing a joint venture and project funding agreement with China's Anshan Iron&Steel Group Corp. to develop its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* The world's top miner, BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. gained 1.2 percent to a new closing high of A$29.25, and Lihir Gold Ltd. added 3 percent to a new closing peak of A$2.76. Copper prices gained 4 percent in London while U.S. copper futures firmed to new peaks.

* Paint maker Wattyl Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to A$3.42 after Australian investment firm Allco Equity Partners Ltd. on Monday ended its A$275 million ($196 million) bid for the company. Allco Equity securities fell 1.7 percent to A$2.34.

REUTERS MP KP1653 .27 per share for the offer which closes on Wednesday.

* Macquarie Bank Ltd., the nation's top investment bank, added 1.7 percent to A.05. A Macquarie-led consortium is selling a 57 percent stake in the Dyno Nobel IPO.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the nation's third-biggest bank by market value, fell 1.4 percent to A.39 and National Australia Bank Ltd., the top bank by assets, slipped 0.8 percent to A.08 as rising bond yields made high dividend paying stocks less attractive.

* Gindalbie Metals Ltd. jumped 29.6 percent to a new closing peak of A SYDNEY, Apr 4 (Reuters) Australian shares peeled back from record peaks on Tuesday to end lower, as banking sector stocks such as ANZ Banking slipped, but strong metals prices lifted miners like BHP and Lihir Gold.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 18.0 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,162.5, based on the latest Reuters data, after setting record closing peaks for four straight days to Monday's finish.

''With the major resource stocks, the fundamentals still look very attractive,'' said Frank Villante, chief investment officer with Souls Funds Management. But the market being driven by only a handful of stocks was a risk, he added.

BHP Billiton shares have jumped about 29 percent in 2006 while Rio Tinto shares gained some 16 percent, propelling the main share index up 8.4. The commodities boom has helped the index to log a 58.4 percent rise in the previous three years.

BHP and Rio account for almost 13 percent of the headline index.

''People are now starting to believe the earnings base for the mining companies has altered and the medium-term earnings prospects aren't going to deteriorate, if anything, they may continue to improve,'' Villante added.

New Zealand shares firmed, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index scaling a life-high of 3,761.74. The index rose 34.48 points, or 0.93 percent, to 3,739.547, setting a new record closing peak for an eighth straight day.

Top stock Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to NZ$5.62 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Telecom to NZ$6.30 per share. For details: [ID:nSYD154780].

STOCKS TO WATCH * Orica Ltd., the world's top maker of commercial explosives, added 3.5 percent to a new closing peak of A$23.85 on expectations of strong demand for rival Dyno Nobel Ltd.'s initial public offer.

Institutions will bid in a range of A$1.89-A$2.27 per share for the offer which closes on Wednesday.

* Macquarie Bank Ltd., the nation's top investment bank, added 1.7 percent to A$66.05. A Macquarie-led consortium is selling a 57 percent stake in the Dyno Nobel IPO.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the nation's third-biggest bank by market value, fell 1.4 percent to A$26.39 and National Australia Bank Ltd., the top bank by assets, slipped 0.8 percent to A$37.08 as rising bond yields made high dividend paying stocks less attractive.

* Gindalbie Metals Ltd. jumped 29.6 percent to a new closing peak of A$0.70 on announcing a joint venture and project funding agreement with China's Anshan Iron&Steel Group Corp. to develop its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* The world's top miner, BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. gained 1.2 percent to a new closing high of A$29.25, and Lihir Gold Ltd. added 3 percent to a new closing peak of A$2.76. Copper prices gained 4 percent in London while U.S. copper futures firmed to new peaks.

* Paint maker Wattyl Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to A$3.42 after Australian investment firm Allco Equity Partners Ltd. on Monday ended its A$275 million ($196 million) bid for the company. Allco Equity securities fell 1.7 percent to A$2.34.

REUTERS MP KP1653 .70 on announcing a joint venture and project funding agreement with China's Anshan Iron&Steel Group Corp. to develop its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* The world's top miner, BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. gained 1.2 percent to a new closing high of A.25, and Lihir Gold Ltd. added 3 percent to a new closing peak of A SYDNEY, Apr 4 (Reuters) Australian shares peeled back from record peaks on Tuesday to end lower, as banking sector stocks such as ANZ Banking slipped, but strong metals prices lifted miners like BHP and Lihir Gold.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 18.0 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,162.5, based on the latest Reuters data, after setting record closing peaks for four straight days to Monday's finish.

''With the major resource stocks, the fundamentals still look very attractive,'' said Frank Villante, chief investment officer with Souls Funds Management. But the market being driven by only a handful of stocks was a risk, he added.

BHP Billiton shares have jumped about 29 percent in 2006 while Rio Tinto shares gained some 16 percent, propelling the main share index up 8.4. The commodities boom has helped the index to log a 58.4 percent rise in the previous three years.

BHP and Rio account for almost 13 percent of the headline index.

''People are now starting to believe the earnings base for the mining companies has altered and the medium-term earnings prospects aren't going to deteriorate, if anything, they may continue to improve,'' Villante added.

New Zealand shares firmed, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index scaling a life-high of 3,761.74. The index rose 34.48 points, or 0.93 percent, to 3,739.547, setting a new record closing peak for an eighth straight day.

Top stock Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to NZ$5.62 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Telecom to NZ$6.30 per share. For details: [ID:nSYD154780].

STOCKS TO WATCH * Orica Ltd., the world's top maker of commercial explosives, added 3.5 percent to a new closing peak of A$23.85 on expectations of strong demand for rival Dyno Nobel Ltd.'s initial public offer.

Institutions will bid in a range of A$1.89-A$2.27 per share for the offer which closes on Wednesday.

* Macquarie Bank Ltd., the nation's top investment bank, added 1.7 percent to A$66.05. A Macquarie-led consortium is selling a 57 percent stake in the Dyno Nobel IPO.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the nation's third-biggest bank by market value, fell 1.4 percent to A$26.39 and National Australia Bank Ltd., the top bank by assets, slipped 0.8 percent to A$37.08 as rising bond yields made high dividend paying stocks less attractive.

* Gindalbie Metals Ltd. jumped 29.6 percent to a new closing peak of A$0.70 on announcing a joint venture and project funding agreement with China's Anshan Iron&Steel Group Corp. to develop its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* The world's top miner, BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. gained 1.2 percent to a new closing high of A$29.25, and Lihir Gold Ltd. added 3 percent to a new closing peak of A$2.76. Copper prices gained 4 percent in London while U.S. copper futures firmed to new peaks.

* Paint maker Wattyl Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to A$3.42 after Australian investment firm Allco Equity Partners Ltd. on Monday ended its A$275 million ($196 million) bid for the company. Allco Equity securities fell 1.7 percent to A$2.34.

REUTERS MP KP1653 .76. Copper prices gained 4 percent in London while U.S. copper futures firmed to new peaks.

* Paint maker Wattyl Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to A.42 after Australian investment firm Allco Equity Partners Ltd. on Monday ended its A5 million (6 million) bid for the company. Allco Equity securities fell 1.7 percent to A SYDNEY, Apr 4 (Reuters) Australian shares peeled back from record peaks on Tuesday to end lower, as banking sector stocks such as ANZ Banking slipped, but strong metals prices lifted miners like BHP and Lihir Gold.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 18.0 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,162.5, based on the latest Reuters data, after setting record closing peaks for four straight days to Monday's finish.

''With the major resource stocks, the fundamentals still look very attractive,'' said Frank Villante, chief investment officer with Souls Funds Management. But the market being driven by only a handful of stocks was a risk, he added.

BHP Billiton shares have jumped about 29 percent in 2006 while Rio Tinto shares gained some 16 percent, propelling the main share index up 8.4. The commodities boom has helped the index to log a 58.4 percent rise in the previous three years.

BHP and Rio account for almost 13 percent of the headline index.

''People are now starting to believe the earnings base for the mining companies has altered and the medium-term earnings prospects aren't going to deteriorate, if anything, they may continue to improve,'' Villante added.

New Zealand shares firmed, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index scaling a life-high of 3,761.74. The index rose 34.48 points, or 0.93 percent, to 3,739.547, setting a new record closing peak for an eighth straight day.

Top stock Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to NZ$5.62 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Telecom to NZ$6.30 per share. For details: [ID:nSYD154780].

STOCKS TO WATCH * Orica Ltd., the world's top maker of commercial explosives, added 3.5 percent to a new closing peak of A$23.85 on expectations of strong demand for rival Dyno Nobel Ltd.'s initial public offer.

Institutions will bid in a range of A$1.89-A$2.27 per share for the offer which closes on Wednesday.

* Macquarie Bank Ltd., the nation's top investment bank, added 1.7 percent to A$66.05. A Macquarie-led consortium is selling a 57 percent stake in the Dyno Nobel IPO.

* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the nation's third-biggest bank by market value, fell 1.4 percent to A$26.39 and National Australia Bank Ltd., the top bank by assets, slipped 0.8 percent to A$37.08 as rising bond yields made high dividend paying stocks less attractive.

* Gindalbie Metals Ltd. jumped 29.6 percent to a new closing peak of A$0.70 on announcing a joint venture and project funding agreement with China's Anshan Iron&Steel Group Corp. to develop its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* The world's top miner, BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc. gained 1.2 percent to a new closing high of A$29.25, and Lihir Gold Ltd. added 3 percent to a new closing peak of A$2.76. Copper prices gained 4 percent in London while U.S. copper futures firmed to new peaks.

* Paint maker Wattyl Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to A$3.42 after Australian investment firm Allco Equity Partners Ltd. on Monday ended its A$275 million ($196 million) bid for the company. Allco Equity securities fell 1.7 percent to A$2.34.

REUTERS MP KP1653 .34.

REUTERS MP KP1653

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