Australia stocks came under the spell of selling in other Asian markets and overnight in the U.S., but the losses were capped by gains for miners on the back of a recovery in some commodity prices. The S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.5% lower in early moves Thursday, with Scentre Group down 1.6%, BHP Billiton Ltd. off 1.4%, and airlines Qantas Airways Ltd. and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. down 2% and 2.7%, respectively. News Corp. (the corporate parent of MarketWatch) lost 3%, adding to a more-than-1% pullback the previous day after announcing plans to buy real-estate-listing website operator Move Inc. in an all-cash $950 million deal. However, modest gains for gold, along with rebounds for copper and iron-ore prices helped to send Newcrest Mining Ltd. up 1.5%, Perseus Mining Ltd. up 3%, St. Barbara Ltd. up 3.2%, and Mt. Gibson Iron Ltd. up 1.4%. Shares of Wotif.com Holdings Ltd. rallied 6.6% as Australia's antitrust regulator approved the online travel agent's sale to U.S. rival Expedia Inc.
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