Australia Stocks Join Global Losses, But Some Miners Up

MarketWatch Pulse

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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