Australia stocks returned from holiday Tuesday and got right to work, with the S&P/ASX 200 sporting a 0.2% gain about 40 minutes into the trading day. The top-weighted financial and mining sectors were mixed -- the former saw Westpac Banking Corp. up 1% and Commonwealth Bank of Australia up 0.4% but National Australia Bank Ltd. down 0.2%, while among the latter, BHP Billiton Ltd. rose 0.9% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. rallied 2.8%, but Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 0.4% and Arrium Ltd. slid 3%. South32 Ltd. was also a weak spot among the miners, falling 2.6% after its South African manganese joint venture said it would delay the restart of several key furnaces. Similarly, gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd. lost 1.9% after a disruption to some of its Papuan mining operations over the weekend, although Newcrest said the issue wouldn't affect its full-year production numbers. While crude-oil futures lost ground overnight, benchmark North Sea Brent was still higher than when Sydney stocks last traded, and this appeared to help some of the energy names, with Oil Search Ltd. up 0.8% and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. up 0.9%, but Beach Energy Ltd. down 0.5%. Energy-services major Santos Ltd. enjoyed a 1.3% gain as Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares to overweight from equal-weight and hiked its price target by 22%, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Meanwhile, Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings was one of the weakest names on the Sydney market Tuesday morning, diving almost 17% after cutting its earnings forecast.
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