Glencore Buys Back Shares, Might Buy Nickel West From BHP Billiton

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Glencore said it would buy back $1 billion in shares, underscoring its commitment to returning cash to shareholders rather than spending it on expensive expansion projects, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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“Growth for growth’s sake isn’t for us,” Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of the mining and commodities trader, told the WSJ. He did, however, signal possible interest in some mining assets that BHP Billiton plans to spin off.

Glencore said the $7 billion received from this month’s sale of the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru allowed the company to accelerate the return of capital to shareholders.

The Switzerland-based company reported on Wednesday that it swung to a profit of $1.72 billion for the first half. Glencore also declared an interim dividend of 6 cents a share, up 11% from a year earlier.

The nickel spot price closed up Wednesday, August 20 at $18,545 per metric ton, halting two days of weakening prices on the LME with a 0.7 percent shift. Following a 0.7 percent rise on Wednesday, the 3-month price of nickel closed on the LME at $18,580 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price rose 0.1 percent to INR 1,137 ($18.72) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly held steady at CNY 145,000 ($23,604) per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $1.28 per pound. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,232) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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