Australia Stocks Coast Downhill, Following Weak Copper And Iron

Tough times for the miners kept Australian stocks in negative territory early Tuesday, with the S&P/ASX 200 slipping 0.2%. After overnight lossess for both iron ore and copper, BHP Billiton Ltd. fell 1.3%, Arrium Ltd. dropped 3.5%, Rio Tinto Ltd. eased by 0.4%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. gave up 0.3%. Bucking the trend, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. added 1.1% after announcing plans to cut costs by shifting its mine-worker rosters to a "two-weeks-on/one-week-off" system, reports said. Further improvement for crude-oil futures helped lift Oil Search Ltd. by 0.5%, while Beach Energy Ltd. added 0.6%, and Santos Ltd. rose 0.9%. Shares of Qantas Airways Ltd. traded 1.5% higher after a government agency voiced opposition to the possible blocking of an alliance between Qantas and China Eastern Airlines Corp. by Australia's antitrust regulator. And among financials, shares of Suncorp Group Ltd. improved by 1.7% after it announced that GPT Group Chief Executive Michael Cameron would take the reins at Suncorp in October. Shares of GPT fell 0.4%.

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