Australian mining stocks fell, led by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group after prices of metals such as nickel and copper dropped.
Companies with U.S. earnings, such as Rinker Group Ltd., rose on signs of slowing inflation in the world’s biggest economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.1 points to 5037.50 as of 11:06 a.m. in Sydney. About 11 stocks declined for every seven that rose.
Brambles Industries Ltd. and Newcrest Mining Ltd. were among stocks trading without the right to their latest dividends, weighing on the index.
“You look at some of those falls in metals last week and you see why resources stocks are in for a torrid time again,” said Lucinda Chan, head of Asian business at Macquarie Equities Ltd. in Sydney. “Who knows if it’s the end of the mining boom, but the threat of it has been enough to spook a few people.”
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.12 points to 3537.82 as of 1:05 p.m. in Wellington.
BHP, the world’s biggest mining company by market value and production, slid 28 cents, or 1.1 percent, to A$24.74. Rio Tinto, the second-biggest by production, fell A$1.36, or 2 percent, to A$66.59.
A measure of six metals traded on the London Metal Exchange, including copper and zinc, fell 1.1 percent. Copper fell 2 percent, zinc slid 3.4 percent and aluminum dropped 1.5 percent.
Nickel miners dropped after the metal plunged 9.1 percent, the biggest one-day drop since Oct. 13.
Jubilee Mines NL, Australia’s fourth-largest nickel producer, fell 21 cents, or 2.2 percent, to A$9.28. Minara Resources Ltd. slumped 17 cents, or 4.9 percent, to A$3.33.
Rinker, the biggest supplier of cement blocks in the U.S., added 20 cents, or 1.5 percent, to A$13.19. Westfield Group, the world’s biggest owner of shopping malls, climbed 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to A$18.50.
U.S. stocks rose on Sept. 15 after a government report said consumer prices rose in August by half the pace of the previous month, reducing the chances the Federal Reserve will resume raising interest rates.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index’s futures contract for September added 0.2 percent to 5041. The broader All Ordinaries Index added 1.8 points to 4999.0.
The following shares also rose or fell. The stock symbols are in brackets after the company names.
Oil producers: Crude oil rose as much as 0.6 percent to $63.70 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading in New York. Oil has fallen 19 percent from the record $78.40 reached on July 14. Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL AU), Australia’s second-biggest oil producer, gained 69 cents, or 1.9 percent, to A$37.30. Santos Ltd. (STO AU), the third-biggest producer, added 21 cents, or 2 percent, to A$10.51.
GrainCorp Ltd. (GNC AU), eastern Australia’s biggest grain handler, climbed 42 cents, or 5.3 percent, to A$8.28. The company said full-year profit will rise to as much as A$37 million ($28 million), compared with an earlier forecast of A$26 million to A$30 million, on cost savings and increased domestic sales.
Nexus Energy Ltd. (NXS AU), a gas and oil explorer, jumped 6.5 cents, or 8.9 percent, to 79.5 cents. The company said it found gas at its Longtom-3 well.
Quiktrak Networks Ltd. (QTK AU), which makes wireless communications equipment, climbed 2 cents, or 14 percent, to 16 cents. The company secured a contract to supply 3.5 million modems to China, according to a report in the Age newspaper.
Vision Systems Ltd. (VSL AU), which develops cancer detection products, slumped 32 cents, or 12 percent, to A$2.37. Ventana Medical Systems Inc., a maker of products to diagnose cancer, said it won’t raise its offer for Vision Systems. Ventana also said it plans to file patent litigation against Vision Systems.
Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU), Australia’s fourth-largest lender, fell 20 cents, or 0.9 percent, to A$22.75. The stock was cut to “hold” from “buy” by Craig Williams, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., who cited lower earnings growth and reduced confidence in management after its profit forecast.
ING Property Trust (ING NZ), New Zealand’s third-biggest publicly real estate investment fund, declined 2 cents, or 1.6 percent, to NZ$1.21. Investors who buy the stock from today won’t be entitled to a 2.2 cent dividend to be paid Sept. 29.
Pumpkin Patch Ltd. (PPL NZ), a New Zealand children’s clothing retailer, rose 4 cents, or 1 percent, to NZ$4.02. The company said full-year profit rose 16 percent on its expansion to the U.K. and U.S., and new stores at home and in Australia.