BHP Billiton May Launch Share Buyback in August

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BHP Billiton has “topped market forecasts with a 31 percent rise in first-half profit on Tuesday and hinted it may launch a share buyback in August, despite giving a cautious outlook on Chinese growth,” reports Reuters.

“After saving an annualised $4.9 billion in costs, cutting capital spending and trimming debt, the world’s biggest miner pointed to strong cash flows that would put it in a position to consider a big dividend hike and capital return to investors.”

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“BHP and its rivals have been deferring projects, cost-cutting and selling assets for 18 months to satisfy shareholder demands for a bigger share of spoils from the mining boom. Rio Tinto surprised with a 15-percent dividend hike last week.”

In metal price news for stainless steel and nickel…

Staying around $14,225 per metric ton for the day, the nickel spot price remained flat on the LME. The nickel 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $14,260 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw little change in its price last Friday.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese ferro-moly was unchanged.

The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil continues to hover for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw little movement. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held flat. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Chinese primary nickel held steady.