(Bloomberg) — BHP Group Ltd. made an improved A$9.6 billion ($6.4 billion) offer to acquire copper producer OZ Minerals Ltd. as the world’s top miner seeks more exposure to rising demand from clean energy and electric cars.

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OZ Minerals will recommend shareholders vote in favor of the A$28.25 a share offer, the Adelaide, Australia-based company said Friday, after rejecting an earlier A$25 per share bid in August. The proposed acquisition would be BHP’s largest since the $12.1 billion purchase of Petrohawk Energy Corp. in 2011.

Miners across the globe are hungry for copper assets to add a metal that’s regarded as critical to the energy transition due to its use in electricity networks, renewable energy and electric vehicles. Demand for copper is set to jump 58% by 2040, according to BloombergNEF, and BHP is looking to consolidate its position as one of the world’s largest producers.

BHP has said so-called future facing metals copper and nickel, as well as fertilizer ingredient potash, are key to the company’s growth as demand plateaus for iron ore, its most important commodity, and the world moves away from fossil fuels. BHP has reduced its coal business in recent years, and sold its entire oil and gas business to Woodside Energy Group this year.

“The combination of BHP and OZL’s assets, skills and technical expertise provides a unique opportunity not available under separate ownership,” BHP Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry said.

OZ Minerals shares rose as much as 4.5% to A$27.49, the highest level since April, and traded at A$27.38 as of 12:13 p.m. in Sydney on Friday.

The latest offer is 49% above the OZ Minerals share price on Aug. 5, the trading session before BHP made its first bid. BHP will now conduct due diligence and the offer will be its “best and final” proposal, the company said.

OZ Minerals, which has operations adjacent to BHP’s huge Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, would add around 7% to BHP’s annual copper production. The target also has mines in Brazil and a key nickel project in Western Australia.

“BHP’s revised proposal is a clear reflection of OZ Minerals’ unique set of highly strategic, quality assets in quality jurisdictions and an enviable multi-generational growth pipeline of copper and nickel assets in strong demand due to global electrification,” OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cole said.

The offer came as Rio Tinto Group, BHP’s biggest competitor, hit another roadblock in its bid to take full control of Turquoise Hill, a Canadian company that has what would be one of the world’s largest copper mines in Mongolia.

(Adds shares in sixth paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected the currency in headline.)

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(Bloomberg) — Oz Minerals Ltd. has requested a trading halt pending an announcement in relation to a potential change-of-control transaction, three months after the copper miner rejected a A$8.4 billion ($5.7 billion) bid by BHP Group Ltd.

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The securities will remain in the trading halt until the commencement of normal trading on Friday, or when the announcement is released to the market, Oz Minerals said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday.

BHP was the likely bidder, but it’s also possible it could be a new entrant because the mining giant hadn’t entered a trading halt, Shaw and Partners analyst Peter O’Connor said in a note. The bidder would need to offer “A$30 a share or close to it,” he said.

BHP’s initial offer for Oz Minerals was for A$25 a share. The company’s shares closed at A$26.30 in Sydney on Tuesday.

A spokesperson from BHP declined to comment.

See also: Oz Minerals Said to Seek A$10 Billion in Potential Sale

BHP, which hived off its oil and gas assets this year, is seeking growth in commodities tied to trends including low-emissions transport and clean energy — particularly copper for renewables and nickel for lithium-ion batteries. The mining giant is also pouring billions of dollars into a giant new potash mine in Canada to enter the fertilizer sector.

(Updates with comment from analyst in 3rd paragraph.)

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If you want to know who really controls Anglo American plc (LON:AAL), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. We can see that institutions own the lion’s share in the company with 72% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

And as as result, institutional investors reaped the most rewards after the company’s stock price gained 14% last week. One-year return to shareholders is currently 25% and last week’s gain was the icing on the cake.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Anglo American.

See our latest analysis for Anglo American

ownership-breakdownWhat Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Anglo American?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

Anglo American already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Anglo American’s earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Anglo American. The company’s largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 9.0%. Public Investment Corporation Limited is the second largest shareholder owning 7.3% of common stock, and The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds about 4.2% of the company stock.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 21 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Anglo American

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that Anglo American plc insiders own under 1% of the company. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven’t picked up on. As it is a large company, we’d only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it’s worth noting that they own UK£81m worth of shares. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 17% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Anglo American. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 10%, of the company’s shares. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Anglo American better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example – Anglo American has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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LONDON (Reuters) – BHP Group is teaming up with steelmaker ArcelorMittal and two others to test a new technology to reduce carbon emissions in steel making at two plants in Belgium and North America.

The trials, at ArcelorMittal's Gent steel blast furnace in Belgium and another plant in North America, also involve Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), which developed the carbon capture technology, and Mitsubishi Development Pty, another supplier of steel-making coal.

By discharging over 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, the steel industry accounts for 7-9% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

"What's really interesting in this partnership is that … it is not a desktop exercise but a real world application in an operational plant," said BHP Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant.

The world's number one miner produced more than 37 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, an essential ingredient to produce steel, in the financial year to June.

Large mining companies have been partnering with technology firms and others in the supply chain to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help reduce emissions in some of the most energy-intensive industries.

BHP's partnerships, for example, also include one with India's Tata Steel, which uses biomass as a source of energy.

"There isn't a silver bullet, there isn't one path or technology for low-carbon emissions in steelmaking," Pant said.

"We are covering many different technologies and geographies with these partnerships … to enable lower GHG emissions steel and support the reduction of carbon intensity in blast furnaces," Pant said.

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

Insiders who bought US$10.0k worth of Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) stock in the last year recovered part of their losses as the stock rose by 5.4% last week. However, the purchase is proving to be an expensive wager as insiders are yet to get ahead of their losses which currently stand at US$424 since the time of purchase.

While we would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

View our latest analysis for Anglo American

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Anglo American

While there weren’t any large insider transactions in the last twelve months, it’s still worth looking at the trading.

You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

insider-trading-volume

Anglo American is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insider Ownership

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.2% of Anglo American shares, worth about UK£67m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Anglo American Insiders?

Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. That said, the purchases were not large. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders own shares in Anglo American and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. While we like knowing what’s going on with the insider’s ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. At Simply Wall St, we’ve found that Anglo American has 2 warning signs (1 is significant!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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LONDON (Reuters) – BHP Group's Chief Executive Mike Henry said on Friday he was "cautiously optimistic" about the economic outlook for China, despite uncertainty.

"There is uncertainty in China – albeit, our view is that China is still going to provide a bit of stability or underpinning to global economic growth over the next 12 months," the head of the world's largest listed mining company said in a pre-recorded interview at the FT Mining Summit in London.

China, the world's second biggest economy, accounts for more than 50% of global demand for raw materials. Its economic outlook has been clouded by stringent COVID-19 curbs, disruptions to energy and food supplies caused by the Ukraine crisis and slowing global growth on the back of sharp rises in borrowing costs to curb red-hot inflation.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts China's GDP will expand by just 3.2% this year, down from 8.1% growth in 2021.

So far, China has fought shy of the huge amounts of stimulus it introduced when economic weakness led to a drop in demand and a commodity price crash in 2015-6.

"We are seeing some green shoots in China by way of property sectors, so increased sales and increased completions," Henry said. "We are not yet seeing that pull through to an increase in housing starts but we are seeing some more supportive policy, with encouragement being given to the banks to relax some of their lending practices for the property sector."

BHP is a top producer of iron ore, used in the making of steel going into the construction industry, with more than 250 million tonnes mined in the financial year to June.

"We see steel production in China probably seeing another billion tonne-plus year, a slight decline from last year by 1-2%, and then rebounding next year by circa 1%, for what would then be the fifth year running of over a billion tonnes of steel production," Henry said.

The mining giant is currently studying whether it could increase iron ore productivity above 300 million tonnes a year, Henry added.

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Susan Fenton)

(Bloomberg) — De Beers told its diamond buyers they can purchase stones on sweetened terms at its next sale, in the first sign the market is slowing after a bonanza that started during the global pandemic.

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The diamond industry was one of the surprise winners as the world economy rebounded from the first effects of the pandemic. Consumer demand for diamond jewelry grew strongly last year, while supply remained constrained.

De Beers raised prices of rough diamonds throughout much of 2021 as it sought to recover from the first year of the pandemic. The unit of Anglo American Plc has reported bumper sales so far this year after sanctions on Alrosa PJSC forced its Russian rival to stop selling through much of the spring, causing many buyers to seek supply from elsewhere.

That’s now starting to unravel. Alrosa started quietly selling again in the summer and stones from Russia have continued to flow. At the same time, Chinese demand has been hit by Covid-19 lockdowns, while surging inflation threatens wider consumer demand in the US and Europe.

De Beers responded on Friday by telling customers in a memo that it would be doubling the size of its so-called buyback process, according to people familiar with the situation.

The buyback system allows customers to handpick a percentage of the stones in any parcel and sell them back to De Beers. It allows them to remove stones they think may be unprofitable and helps prevent too much unwanted supply entering the market. De Beers told customers Friday that the buyback would be increased from 10% to 20% for diamonds bigger than 1 carat at its next sale scheduled for the end of this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The increased buyback is a way for De Beers to offer sweeter terms without having to cut prices, a move that can trigger price falls across the wider market. It’s also a mechanism the company has used in the past when the market softens.

A De Beers spokesman declined to comment.

De Beers sells to around 60 handpicked customers who either cut, polish and manufacture the rough diamonds into jewelry themselves or sell to other companies which don’t have access to the sales.

The deteriorating market comes as De Beers is in the process of changing its chief executive officer. Anglo American said last week that Equinor ASA’s Al Cook will replace Bruce Cleaver, becoming only the second ever outsider to lead the iconic diamond company.

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(Bloomberg) — Woodside Energy Group Ltd., Australia’s biggest oil and gas producer, said first-half profit soared more than fivefold on the back of higher prices and the takeover of BHP Group Ltd.’s energy assets.

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Net income for the six months through June 30 rose 417% to $1.64 billion as the average realized price more than doubled from a year earlier to $96.40 a barrel of oil equivalent, the Perth-based company said Tuesday. The completion of the integration of BHP’s petroleum business in June also helped lift production by 19% to 55 million boe.

Woodside has faced investor and activist scrutiny over its increased contribution to climate change following the all-share takeover of BHP’s petroleum assets, which made it Australia’s largest energy company and one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas suppliers. The company has used the global energy crunch to defend its decision to continue to invest in production such as the Scarborough project, which is set to supply its first LNG cargo in 2026.

“The upheavals in global and Australian energy markets witnessed over the course of the past six months have shone a spotlight on on the importance of gas in the world energy mix and underscores our confidence in the longer-term demand outlook for gas, which makes up 70% of Woodside’s portfolio,” Chief Executive Officer Meg O’Neill said in a statement.

The result was “in-line to marginally better than expectations,” Citigroup Inc. analysts Paul McTaggart and Tom Wallington said in a note. Price volatility and geopolitical tension are among key risks for the company, along with potential cost blowouts in new oil and gas projects, they said.

Woodside said it would pay a half-year dividend of $1.09 a share, more than three times last year’s level. The company’s shares gained as much as 3.8% in Sydney on Tuesday to their highest level since July 2019.

(Updates with analyst comment, share price from fourth paragraph)

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Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you’re one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) is about to go ex-dividend in just 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company’s record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company’s books on the record date. Thus, you can purchase Anglo American’s shares before the 18th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 23rd of September.

The company’s next dividend payment will be US$1.24 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$2.42 to shareholders. Based on the last year’s worth of payments, Anglo American stock has a trailing yield of around 6.7% on the current share price of £29.63. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

View our latest analysis for Anglo American

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Fortunately Anglo American’s payout ratio is modest, at just 42% of profit. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. It paid out more than half (60%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.

It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.

Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

historic-dividendHave Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That’s why it’s comforting to see Anglo American’s earnings have been skyrocketing, up 36% per annum for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company’s dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Anglo American has delivered 13% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

To Sum It Up

Is Anglo American worth buying for its dividend? From a dividend perspective, we’re encouraged to see that earnings per share have been growing, the company is paying out less than half of its earnings, and a bit over half its free cash flow. Anglo American looks solid on this analysis overall, and we’d definitely consider investigating it more closely.

So while Anglo American looks good from a dividend perspective, it’s always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. For example, we’ve found 2 warning signs for Anglo American (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that deserve your attention before investing in the shares.

A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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Anglo American has become the latest mining group to report a sharp drop in earnings and shareholder payouts as waning demand for commodities and cost pressures squeeze margins. The FTSE 100 miner on Thursday reported a 28 per cent drop in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $8.7bn in the first six months of the year compared with the same period a year earlier, on revenues of $18.1bn. Anglo American blamed the drop in earnings on tight labour driven by Covid-19 absenteeism, supply chain disruptions, extreme weather and inflationary pressures.

(Bloomberg) — Chinese authorities are investigating the Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing on suspicion of disciplinary violations, making him the most senior sitting cabinet official to be ensnared in a disciplinary probe in almost four years.

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The case was a “violation of discipline and law,” the country’s top anti-graft agency said in a statement Thursday, avoiding the common phrasing “serious violation of discipline and law.” The regulators didn’t offer further details on the alleged crimes by Xiao, whose ministry spearheads China’s efforts to build technologies from semiconductors to aviation, and supports the nation’s most promising startups in areas from chipmaking to bio-tech.

The probe against the 62-year-old official is unfolding weeks before the Communist Party’s 20th congress later this year, which is expected to reshuffle the country’s leadership. President Xi Jinping, who’s expected to secure a third term in the shake-up, has consolidated power over the past decade in part due to an enduring corruption crackdown that brought down dozens of former top cadres.

The announcement coincided with a monthly meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo, which vowed to strive for the “best outcome” for economic growth this year, as concerns mount over the risks of a property crisis spreading to the broader financial system.

READ: China Looks for ‘Best Outcome’ as Economic Challenges Mount

Xiao’s ministry is the regulator for the country’s heavy industry, automobile, telecom and electronics sectors, overseeing companies from Huawei Technologies Co. to Xiaomi Corp. He has held the rank of cabinet minister since 2016, earlier leading government agencies including the country’s top state-owned assets watchdog. He attracted public attention earlier on Thursday as he was not included in a list of central government officials slated to attend the upcoming Party Congress.

Prior to his political career, Xiao mainly worked in the aluminum industry and was president of Aluminum Corp. of China when it bought a $14 billion stake in Rio Tinto Group with Alcoa Inc. in 2008. That derailed BHP Billiton Ltd.’s hostile bid for the world’s third-largest mining company and marked one of the biggest Chinese outbound investments.

Former Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei, who was placed under investigation in October 2018, was the last official of such a senior rank to fall.

(Updates with details, background of Xiao)

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Investors set for last round of bumper payouts as margins are squeezed by falling commodity prices and cost inflation

Rio Tinto has signalled an end to the era of record returns in the mining sector, as the Anglo-Australian group reported a sharp drop in half-year profit and more than halved its dividend payment. Rio, the world’s largest producer of steelmaking ingredient iron ore, reported underlying earnings of $8.6bn for the six months to June, down from a record $12.2bn last year, on sales of almost $30bn. While that is still the second-highest half-year payout on record and in line with its dividend policy, the dividend is significantly lower than last year’s payment of $9.1bn and below what analysts had expected.

Here are three stocks added to the Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) List today:

Brighthouse Financial BHF is a holding company formed to own the legal entities that historically operated a substantial portion of the former Retail segment of MetLife, Inc.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 30.3% downward over the last 60 days.

BHP Group Limited BHP is one of the world's largest diversified resource companies with operations across several continents with a market capitalization of around $183 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised almost 21.1% downward over the last 60 days.

ASM International ASMIY is a leading supplier of equipment and solutions used to produce semiconductor devices, or integrated circuits, for both the front-end and back-end segments of the semiconductor market. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 6.5% downward over the last 60 days.

View the entire Zacks Rank #5 List.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (BHF) : Free Stock Analysis Report ASM International NV (ASMIY) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

By Praveen Menon and Siyi Liu

SYDNEY/BEIJING, July 21 (Reuters) – China's plan to centralise iron ore purchases has prompted questions whether the move could hit the bottomlines of global mining giants, such as Australia's Rio Tinto and BHP Group.

China, exposed to international prices of the steelmaking raw material as it must import nearly 80% of its annual consumption of about 1.2 billion tonnes, launched a new state-backed resources company on Tuesday.

The China Mineral Resources Group, with registered capital of 20 billion yuan ($3 billion), is tasked with investment in mining of minerals, as well as trading and purchasing, said Tianyancha, a Chinese online database of company information.

Global mining giants such as Rio, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group have refused to comment on the plans, but said there was no change in their relations with Chinese customers.

Fortescue supplies iron ore to customers under long-term contracts, Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines said.

"We will continue to work closely with our customers and other key stakeholders in China to … optimise our distribution channels to meet the needs of our long-standing customers and the Chinese steel industry," Gaines said.

China accounted for 90% of Fortescue's revenue in the 2021 financial year.

The new company is expected to coordinate procurement of imported iron ore, develop domestic iron ore resources, and oversee development of mines overseas, the online database added.

Chinese business outlet Caixin also said this month that the body would centralise iron ore demand.

However, history showed plans for centralised iron ore purchases did not work, said BHP, the world's third largest producer of iron ore which sells the bulk of its output to China.

"At the end of the day, we believe that markets will sort out where the price needs to be based on supply and demand," Chief Financial Officer David Lamont told a business forum in Melbourne.

BHP led efforts more than a decade ago to end annual iron ore price-setting talks in a shift to market-based pricing.

Rival Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto declined to comment.

Still, a centralised approach to purchases seems likely to be more successful now than two decades ago, said Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar.

"That’s largely because of the recent consolidation among China's state-owned steel producers," he added.

"Further, the nationwide success of reducing steel production in the second half of 2021 provides hope that the steel sector can act in a unified way."

The impact of centralised purchases on top miners depends on the agency's ultimate objective, however, said Glyn Lawcock, head of mining research at Barrenjoey.

"The comments over the last few years clearly indicate that China is not happy with iron ore prices over $100 a tonne," Lawcock said.

Yet the short-term impact of centralised buying may be limited, as a long tail of private steel producers operates in China, he added.

"I don't think a buyers' club will have an impact in the short-term market, which is still very much driven by supply and demand." ($1=6.7593 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Here are three stocks added to the Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) List today:

BHP Group Limited BHP is one of the world's largest diversified resource company with operations across several continents with a market capitalization of around $183 billion.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 20.0% downward over the last 60 days.

Aviva AVVIY is the leading provider of indexed annuity and indexed life insurance products and its principal activity is the provision of financial products and services, focused on the following lines of business: long-term insurance and savings business, fund management and general insurance and health. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 15.4% downward over the last 60 days.

BlackRock BLK  is a leading investment management company that offers products that span the risk spectrum, including active, enhanced and index strategies through a variety of structures that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other pooled investment vehicles. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised almost 13.5% downward over the last 60 days.

View the entire Zacks Rank #5 List.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BlackRock, Inc. (BLK) : Free Stock Analysis Report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report Aviva PLC (AVVIY) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

BHP Group BHP reported production details for the year ended Jun 30, 2022, and provided guidance for fiscal 2023. Total iron ore production for fiscal 2022 was 253 Mt (million tons), flat year on year and within its guidance of 249-259 Mt. The company met production guidance for copper, energy coal and metallurgical coal but missed the same for nickel due to a smelter outage in the June 2022 quarter.BHP’s copper production in fiscal 2022 was down 4% year over year to 1,573.5 kt. Metallurgical coal production decreased 9% to 29.1 Mt, while energy coal production was 13.7 Mt, down 4% year over year. Nickel production declined 14% year over year to 76.8 kt.Average realized prices for thermal coal and metallurgical coal for fiscal 2022 soared 271% and 225%, respectively. Average realized prices for nickel and copper surged 43% and 9%, respectively. However, iron ore prices declined 13%.

Quarterly Production & Peer Performances

In the April-June quarter, BHP’s iron ore production was down 2% year over year to 64.2 Mt. However, production improved 8% on a sequential basis, primarily due to enhanced performance at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO). This was driven by record production from the Mining Area C hub with the continued ramp-up of South Flank and improved supply chain performance.Brazilian miner Vale S.A. VALE reported its iron ore production for the second quarter of 2022 at 74.1 Mt, which came in 1.2% lower than the year-ago quarter but 17% higher than the first quarter of 2022.Vale lowered its iron ore production guidance for 2022 to 310-320 Mt citing the sale of the Midwestern System. Vale mentioned that it is adjusting production levels according to the current market conditions, and this decision is in sync with its “value over volume” philosophy/mantra.Last week, Rio Tinto Group RIO reported a 4% increase in second-quarter iron ore production to 78.6 Mt. Despite the impact of higher-than-average rainfall in May, continued focus on mine pit health and commissioning of Gudai-Darri supported production during the quarter under discussion.Rio Tinto’s iron production in the first half of this year was 150.3 Mt, 1% lower than the prior year. This was primarily due to the 6% decline reported in its first quarter production to 71.7 Mt.

Fiscal 2023 Guidance

BHP’s iron ore production guidance for fiscal 2023is at 249-260 Mt. The mid-point of the range indicates growth of 1% from fiscal 2022. WAIO production is expected between 246 Mt and 256 Mt (278 Mt and 290 Mt on a 100% basis), reflecting the tie-in of the debottlenecking port project and the continued ramp up of South Flank.The company expects copper production within 1,635 kt and 1,825 kt, suggesting a 10% year-on-year growth at the mid-point. Production guidance of Metallurgical coal is at 29-32 Mt compared with 29.1 Mt reported in fiscal 2022. The guidance for energy coal production is at 13-15 Mt. Nickel production for fiscal 2023 is expected between 80 kt and 90 kt, higher than the production of 76.8 kt reported in fiscal 2022.

Other Key Developments

The divestment of BHP’s 80% interest in BHP Mitsui Coal Pty Ltd (“BMC”) to Stanmore Resources was completed in May. The merger of BHP’s oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Energy was completed on Jun 1.BHP announced that it is retaining its New South Wales Energy Coal (“NSWEC”) unit and plans to continue mining up to the end of fiscal 2030. With the mining consent for the operation to expire in 2026, BHP is currently working toward acquiring the relevant approvals for the same.As of Jun 30, 2022, the company had one major project under development — the $5.7 billion Jansen Stage 1 project. It is tracking according to plan, and BHP is expecting to bring the first production forward to 2026.

Price PerformanceZacks Investment Research

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BHP’s shares have fallen 31.1% in a year, compared with the industry’s decline of 24.3%.

Zacks Rank & a Key Pick

BHP currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A better-ranked stock in the basic materials space is Albemarle Corporation ALB, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Albemarle has a projected earnings growth rate of 231.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB’s current-year earnings has been revised upward by 26.5% in the past 60 days.

Albemarle’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 20%. ALB has gained roughly 11% in a year.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report VALE S.A. (VALE) : Free Stock Analysis Report Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) : Free Stock Analysis Report Albemarle Corporation (ALB) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

Vale S.A. VALE reported iron ore production of around 74.1 million tons for the second quarter of 2022, which was up 17% sequentially. Improvement at Southeastern Systems (mainly attributable to Brucutu, Itabira and Timbopeba) and upbeat performances in all operations at Southern Systems, particularly at Vargem Grande and Mutuca, led to the higher production numbers in the quarter. Northern System production improved, benefiting from better weather seasonality in June despite headwinds.

This brings the company’s year-to-date production to 137 million tons, which marks a 3.7% decline year on year. This is primarily due to a lower 6% drop in production in the first quarter on account of the heavy rainfall in Minas Gerais in January that halted the Southern and Southeastern Systems operations. Production in the second quarter of 2022 was down 1.2% on a year-on-year comparison.The company lowered its iron ore production guidance for 2022 to 310-320 Mt from its previous guidance of 320-335 Mt, citing the sale of the Midwestern System. Vale mentioned that it is adjusting production levels according to the current market conditions, and this decision is in sync with its “value over volume” philosophy.This lowered guidance might provide a much-needed boost to iron ore prices. Iron ore prices have been in a slump lately and have fallen below $100 per ton. Prices have been weighed down by apprehensions regarding weak demand from top consumer China due to the recurring COVID-19 outbreaks and low profitability at Chinese steel mills. Rising fears about a potential global recession-driven demand downturn continue to put pressure on prices as well.Coming back to Vale’s details for the second quarter, sales volumes of iron ore fines and pellets were around 73.2 Mt in the quarter. It represents a 23% increase from the first quarter of 2022. Compared with the second quarter of 2021, sales were flat. Pellet production was 8.7 Mt in the quarter under review, up 25% from the first quarter and 8% year on year, courtesy of improved performance in the Oman plant as a result of fewer maintenance activities and higher pellet feed availability at the Vargem Grande plant.Copper production for the quarter was down 24% year over year to 55.9 kt in the quarter. Compared with the first quarter of 2022, copper output was down 1.2% due to planned and corrective maintenance at the Salobo plant that offset the impact of the Sossego SAG mill resumption in early June and stronger performance of Canadian mines. Vale sold 51.5 kt of copper, which reflects a 31% decline from the last-year quarter. However, compared with the first quarter of this year, copper sales were up 2.4% due to the postponement of a shipment.Vale has revised its copper production to 270-285 kt to account for the longer-than-expected maintenance at the Sossego mill and additional maintenance at the Salobo mill in the back half of the year.Production of nickel was down 16% year over year and 24% sequentially to 34.8 kt in April to June period. Scheduled maintenance of downstream facilities, partially offset by strong performance at Onça Puma, impacted production in the quarter.Nickel sales were down 17% year on year to 39.3 kt. However, on sequential comparison, sales were up 0.8%, outpacing production by 13%, as first-quarter inventories were sold in the second quarter.Cobalt production reached 541 metric tons in the quarter under review, down 28.2% from the prior-year quarter and 28.3% sequentially. Gold production plunged 37.5% year over year and 15.5% sequentially to 60,000 troy ounces in second-quarter 2022. Platinum production was 21,000 troy ounces, down 30% year on year and 8.7% sequentially. Palladium produced was 28,000 troy ounces, down 22% year on year and 3.4% sequentially.

Production Numbers from Peers

Last week, Rio Tinto Group RIO reported that its iron ore shipments in the second quarter of 2022 rose 5% year over year to 79.9 Mt. Iron ore production was up 4% year over year to 78.6 Mt. Despite the impact of higher-than-average rainfall in May, continued focus on mine pit health and commissioning of Gudai-Darri supported production during the quarter under discussion.The total iron ore shipped by Rio Tinto is 151.4 Mt for the first half of 2022, which reflects a 2% drop year over year. Iron production in the first half of this year was 150.3 Mt, 1% lower than the prior year. This was primarily due to the 6% decline reported in its first-quarter production to 71.7 Mt.BHP Group BHP recently reported that its iron ore production for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, was in line with the prior period at 253 Mt. Production in June ended quarter was 64.1 Mt, down 2% year on year but up 8% sequentially.BHP’s production came within its iron ore production guidance between 249 Mt and 259 Mt for fiscal 2022. Production for the 2023 financial year is expected to be between 249 Mt and 260 Mt

Price Performance

Shares of Vale have fallen 42.6% in a year compared with the industry’s decline of 41.2%

Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Rank & a Stock to Consider

Vale currently sports a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).A better-ranked stock in the basic materials space is Albemarle Corporation ALB, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Albemarle has a projected earnings growth rate of 231.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB’s current-year earnings has been revised upward by 26.5% in the past 60 days.

Albemarle’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 20%. ALB has gained roughly 11% in a year.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report VALE S.A. (VALE) : Free Stock Analysis Report Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) : Free Stock Analysis Report Albemarle Corporation (ALB) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

The copper price jumped higher on Wednesday, rebounding from steep declines, as Antofagasta became the latest miner to cut production guidance in response to inflation, drought and maintenance problems. London-listed Antofagasta lowered its full-year output target to a range of 640,000 to 660,000 tonnes, from 660,000 to 690,000 previously, blaming a leak in an underground pipeline at its Los Pelambres operation in Chile and continued “uncertainty about water availability”. Shares in Antofagasta fell as much as 1.3 per cent, recovering to trade 0.8 per cent higher on the day at 1,055p.

(Bloomberg) — Mining giant BHP Group has joined rival Rio Tinto Group in signaling more turbulence to come for commodities producers as costs balloon and demand for everything from iron ore to copper hits headwinds.

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The world’s biggest miner warned Tuesday of an “overall slowing of global growth” amid war in Ukraine, Europe’s energy crisis and global monetary tightening. The commentary — from its latest quarterly output update — echoed remarks from Rio last week. BHP also said cost pressures would linger over the coming 12 months.

While profitability is still strong, both miners “are trying to prepare the market in case we see a significant slowdown in Chinese demand,” Gavin Wendt, a senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty said by phone. “The tougher conditions are coming at a time when prices they’re receiving from commodities are easing, putting pressure on margins.”

Commodities prices have slumped in recent months as demand wavers in China and forecasts multiply for recessions across developed economies. Iron ore, the biggest earner for both companies, plunged below $100 a ton last week as China tackled fresh turmoil in its beleaguered property market, including a wave of homebuyer boycotts of mortgage payments.

At the same time, miners face rising costs. “We expect the lag effect of inflationary pressures to continue through the 2023 financial year, along with labor market tightness and supply chain constraints,” BHP’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry said in the statement.

Stimulus measures in China would boost growth there over the coming year, Henry said. Asia’s biggest economy grew by only 0.4% last quarter, and there’s uncertainty over when government steps to shore up the economy will take effect. Rio has described the headwinds in China as “considerable”.

Iron Giant

BHP’s shipments of the steel-making material from Western Australia’s Pilbara region reached 72.8 million tons in the three months ended June 30, down 1.2% from a year earlier and up 8.5% from the previous quarter, which was impacted by Covid-19 disruptions. That compares with a median estimate from three analysts of 73.1 million tons.

Rio last week announced a 5% increase in its quarterly iron ore shipments. Vale SA, which vies with BHP for the No.2 spot behind Rio in iron ore output, is due to report its production figures for the period later Tuesday.

“There’s definitely been more uncertainty seen in some time and that’s been reflected in the outlook” provided by BHP and Rio, said David Radclyffe, senior mining analyst at Global Mining Research Pty Ltd. Still, he added “their balance sheets have never been so good; they’re well-placed” to weather the downturn.

BHP is due to report its earnings for the period on Aug. 16. On Tuesday it forecast iron ore output from its Western Australian operations for the year started July 1 of between 246 million tons and 256 million tons, after it reached 253 million tons in the 12 months just completed.

For more highlights from BHP’s production report, including copper, nickel, coal output and forecasts, click here.

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(Bloomberg) — BHP Group Ltd. will accelerate the start of a $5.7 billion potash project in Canada as high gas prices and curbs on key exporters disrupt fertilizer supply chains.

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The world’s top miner, which is entering production of the crop nutrient to add exposure to population growth, has been searching for ways to speed up the project as the long-term outlook for fertilizer prices strengthens.

“We are working to bring forward Jansen Stage 1 first production into 2026 and are assessing options to accelerate Jansen Stage 2,” Melbourne-based BHP said Tuesday in a statement. Jansen’s first stage had previously been expected to commence in 2027.

Read more: The Vital Fertilizer That’s Driving Multibillion-Dollar Bets

BHP last year finally approved construction of the Jansen mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, after years of debate over the huge price tag. Jansen could operate for a century, and eventually grow to a scale that would rival the size of the company’s flagship Pilbara iron ore operations, according to BHP.

The producer had been reviewing options to accelerate the project’s timeline, Ragnar Udd, president of BHP’s Minerals Americas business, said in a May interview.

Fertilizers have become more expensive as a hike in natural gas prices — a crucial feedstock — has raised costs. Sanctions on Belarusian potash, and moves by China to rein in shipments have also tighten the market.

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©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

BHP Group Ltd. has gone from lukewarm to hot on its Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, announcing Tuesday that it is working to accelerate first production by a year to 2026, and that it intends to speed up future expansions as potash prices continue to soar.

The Australian mining giant also reported in its year-end operational review that work on Jansen’s shaft, which already runs one-kilometre deep, was completed in June at a total cost of US$2.97 billion.

BHP says Jansen would initially produce 4.35 million tonnes of potash per year and has the potential to ramp up to around 12 million tonnes per year, making it one of the largest potash mines in the world. Officially, the mine has been under development for years, but BHP only committed to completing it in 2021, when CEO Mike Henry recalibrated the company’s portfolio towards “future-facing” commodities such as potash, a fertilizer that could be used to feed a growing world population, and battery metals for electrification.

“I’ve been clear that BHP needs to increase its exposure to future-facing commodities and that includes things like copper, nickel and potash,” Henry said in an interview with the Financial Post in 2020.

At that point, the company had already invested US$4 billion in the project, but Henry insisted that BHP was prepared to walk away based on potash prices.

Last August, BHP committed to fund all of the US$5.7 billion first phase. Although it has built a 97-metre tall headframe, BHP described the project in the operational review as only eight per cent completed, but confirmed that it is working to accelerate the timeframe for first production to 2026.

Earlier this year, BHP sold its petroleum business for $2.8 billion, and the company has said it will put its capital into potash instead.

“Today, in effect, we’re replacing our petroleum business with potash,” chief financial officer David Lamott said in May at the BMO Farm to Market Conference.

The Jansen mine has four stages, each capable of producing around 4 million tonnes of potash per year. Lamott said even if potash prices fell 50 per cent, “we’d be generating around US$4 to US$5 billion of EBITDA per year. For comparison, our petroleum business averaged around US$3 billion per annum over the past five years.”

Still, petroleum accounted for five per cent of the company’s annual earnings.

While oil prices have spiked in recent months, as part of the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so have potash prices. Western sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which account for 37.6 per cent of world potash production, pre-date the latest conflict and had already disrupted the global fertilizer market; the latest conflict exacerbated the situation.

In June, Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd., the world’s largest potash producer, said it would ramp up its annual production to 18 million tonnes by 2025, a 40-per-cent increase, as interim chief executive Ken Seitz warned that a global food crisis would soon affect tens of millions of people in the poorest countries.

“Our view is actually that the physical impact of this shortage in crop nutrients is going to start to be felt over the coming few months here,” Seitz said.

In June, the federal government committed to spending $100 million so that BHP could invest in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Jansen.

Lamott has said Jansen, located 140 miles east of Saskatoon, could operate for a century.

“It has the pathway to become our next Western Australia Iron Ore or Escondida over the next few decades,” he said at the BMO Farm to Market Conference, referencing the company’s iron ore and copper mines, which underpin its current portfolio.

In addition to announcing that it is looking to begin production at Jansen in 2026 rather than 2027, BHP also said it wants to accelerate phase two of Jansen, which would add another 4 million tonnes of annual potash production. But it did not give a target date for that phase, which remains many years away.

In Canada, the company also noted that it had formed an alliance Midland Exploration Inc. and in April funded a nickel exploration program in Nunavik, Que.

• Email: gfriedman@postmedia.com | Twitter:

European stock markets climbed at the open as as Europe looks ahead to a key week on the political, monetary policy and energy market fronts.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) opened 0.6%, France’s CAC (^FCHI) rose 0.5% and Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) climbed 0.5%.

In London, the blue-chip index was being led by the miners, which staged a rebound after the recent sell-off.

Topping the FTSE 100 was Antofagasta (ANTO.L), up 4.5% on the back of the reviving copper price. Following in its wake were Anglo American (AAL.L), up 3.3%, Glencore (GLEN.L) which rose 3% and Rio Tinto (RIO.L), up 2.8%.

Meanwhile, Haleon, the consumer healthcare product arm of GSK (GSK.L) started trading on Monday, becoming the biggest new listing in London in 2022.

Haleon has gone straight into the FTSE 100 index, where GSK also will remain. It will not be issuing new shares as part of its flotation. Rather, existing investors in GSK will get one share in the new company for each current one they own.

Haleon made its debut at 330p a share, valuing the business at £30.4bn

Direct Line (DLG.L) dropped 14% after it issued a profit warning. This also dragged down FTSE 100 rival Admiral Group (ADM.L).

Read more: UK house prices hit record high of £369,968 in July

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) were up 0.6%, Dow futures (YM=F) gained 0.4%, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were 0.9% higher as trade began in Europe.

Asian markets finished higher as Chinese and Hong Kong shares made gains. The Hang Seng (^HSI) gained 2.4% in Hong Kong and the Nikkei 225 (^N225) rose 0.5% in Tokyo. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) climbed 1.4%.

Meanwhile, oil prices are hovering above the $100 mark. Brent crude oil (BZ=F) was trading at $104 on Monday after US president Joe Biden failed to secure output hike agreements with Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade said: “Traders got one clear message from Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, during which president Biden spoke to a number of Arab leaders.

Read more: Company insolvencies jump 40% in June as firms struggle with costs

“The message is that it is OPEC+ that makes the oil supply decision, and the cartel isn’t remotely interested in what Biden is trying to achieve. OPEC+ will continue to control oil supply, and one country alone cannot determine the oil supply — at least that is the message that traders have taken from Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia.”

Across the pond, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 1.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) jumped 1.7% at the end of last week. The Dow Jones (^DJI) climbed 2.1% as markets closed on Friday.

Watch: What is a recession and how do we spot one?

SANTIAGO, July 17 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton is likely to reconsider its investment plans in Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, if the government moves ahead with mining tax hikes, according to a report on Sunday.

The company was quoted by El Mercurio newspaper as saying in a statement that higher taxes would make Chile more expensive than other top mining jurisdictions like Australia, Canada and neighboring Peru.

"We have serious concerns with regards to the new royalties," the company said. "If the proposed royalty (hike) materializes, we would have to reevaluate our investment plans for Chile."

BHP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BHP is a major player in Chile, where it operates the world's largest copper mine, known as Escondida. In April, BHP said it was willing to invest another $10 billion in Chile over the years, but only if the regulatory and fiscal conditions were appropriate.

Chilean Finance Minister Mario Marcel has said that raising mining royalties is his "priority number one" and the top goal of the left-wing administration that was inaugurated earlier this year. The government wants to use the tax income to fund social programs.

The tax reforms, which also include a wealth tax on high earners among other provisions, aim to raise 4.1% of GDP over four years, with 0.7% going to a new guaranteed minimum pension fund.

Other global miners operating in Chile include Glencore , Anglo American, Freeport McMoRan and Antofagasta. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Rio Tinto RIO iron ore shipments in the second quarter of 2022 rose 5% year over year to 79.9 million tons (Mt). Iron ore production was up 4% year over year to 78.6 Mt. Despite the impact of higher-than-average rainfall in May, continued focus on mine pit health and commissioning of Gudai-Darri supported production during the quarter under discussion. RIO announced that its most technologically advanced mine, the Gudai Darri mine in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, delivered its first ore in June. It marked the delivery of its first greenfield mine in more than a decade. The mine’s ramp-up is expected to increase iron ore production volumes and improve the product mix from Pilbara in the second half of this year.The total iron ore shipped by the company is 151.4 Mt for the first half of 2022, which reflects a 2% drop year over year. Iron production in the first half of this year was 150.3 Mt, 1% lower than the prior year. This was primarily due to the 6% decline reported in its first quarter production to 71.7 Mt. The company’s Pilbara operations had a challenging first quarter, as ongoing mine depletion was not offset by mine replacement projects. It was also impacted by delayed commissioning of Gudai-Darri and commissioning challenges at the Mesa A wet plant, which continued to impact production ramp-up at Robe Valley. COVID-19 constraints hampered labor supply.RIO reported bauxite production of 14.1 million tons in the second quarter, which was 3% higher year on year, driven by a solid operational performance at Weipa as a result of improved plant reliability at Amrun. Aluminum production was down 10% to 0.7 million tons due to reduced capacity at Kitimat smelter in British Columbia, following the strike that commenced in July 2021. Production at Boyne smelter in Queensland was impacted due to COVID-19-related unplanned absences. Mined copper production improved 9% year on year to 126 thousand tons due to higher material movement and higher grades and recoveries at Kennecott and Escondida, partly offset by lower grades and recoveries at Oyu Tolgoi as a result of planned mine sequencing.

Guidance for 2022

Rio Tinto expects Pilbara iron ore shipments (100% basis) in the range of 320 to 335 Mt in 2022. The mid-point of the range indicates a year-over-year rise of 2%. Bauxite production is expected to be 54-57 Mt compared with 54 Mt in 2021. Alumina production is anticipated between 7.6 Mt and 7.8 Mt, down from its prior range of 8.0 Mt and 8.4 Mt. Aluminium production is expected in the band of 3-3.1 Mt compared with the previously provided range of 3.1 to 3.2 Mt. RIO had produced 7.9 Mt of Alumina and 3.2 Mt of aluminum in 2021.Mined copper is forecast in the range of 500 kt to 575 kt for the year. The mid-point of the range indicates a 9% year-on-year growth. Refined copper is predicted between 230 kt and 290 kt, which indicates a 29% year-on-year growth at the mid-point. Diamonds production is projected to be 4.5-5.0 million carats, revised downward from the prior guidance of 5.0-6.0 million carats. Titanium dioxide slag production is expected to be 1.1-1.4 Mt.Brazilian miner Vale S.A VALE iron ore production guidance is at 320-335 Mt for 2022. The mid-point of the range suggests year-on-year growth of 4%. Pellet production is projected between 34 Mt and 38 Mt. Vale is set to release its second-quarter production report on Jul 19, 2021.BHP Group BHP expects to produce between 249 Mt and 259 Mt of iron ore in fiscal 2022. The mid-point of the range indicates in-line production from the prior-year levels.Rio Tinto, Vale and BHP Group are expected to bear the brunt of the recent drop in iron ore prices. Iron ore prices have fallen below $110 per ton — a level not seen since last December. Rising concerns about weak demand from top consumer China due to the recurring COVID-19 outbreaks and low profitability at Chinese steel mills continued to overshadow reports of a massive stimulus package and policy support pledges from the government. Mounting fears about a potential global recession-driven demand downturn have been weighing on the steel-making ingredient.

Price PerformanceZacks Investment Research

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In a year’s time, shares of Rio Tinto have fallen 34%, compared with the industry’s decline of 25.3%.

Zacks Rank & a Key Pick

Rio Tinto currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).A better-ranked stock worth considering in the basic materials space is Kronos Worldwide KRO, which flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Kronos has a projected earnings growth rate of 110% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KRO’s current-year earnings has been revised 61% upward in the past 60 days.Kronos has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 24%, on average. KRO has gained around 17% in a year.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report VALE S.A. (VALE) : Free Stock Analysis Report Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) : Free Stock Analysis Report Kronos Worldwide Inc (KRO) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

Suze Orman says this is the only asset class with a track record of ‘earning more than inflation’ — here are 3 simple ways to gain exposure now

With U.S. inflation hitting yet another multi-decade high ⁠— it reached 9.1% in June — Americans continue to see their purchasing power plummet.

But whether we’ve reached peak inflation or we’re heading into a recession, Suze Orman, personal finance expert, says you should still lean on stocks for the long haul.

“Over the long-term stocks have produced the best gains after factoring in inflation,” writes Orman in a blog post. “Bonds and cash struggle to keep pace with inflation; only stocks have a track record of earning more than inflation.”

Orman’s advice is sound. But some areas of the stock market perform better than others during periods of high inflation.

Whether you’re looking to invest thousands of dollars or just a bit of your savings, the following three sectors might give you an extra boost over the next few years.

Don’t miss

1. Banks

In her blog post, Orman says investors should be prepared for stocks to go through periods where their value dips.

But that also offers the chance to snap up more top-shelf stocks at bargain-bin prices. When the next pullback happens (and it will happen), there’s one place investors might want to look to first: banks.

Unlike the vast majority of other industries, banks tend to fare relatively well when the Fed tightens up because of their asset-sensitive nature. When interest rates rise, bank assets like bonds and loans tend to climb higher than their liabilities such as deposits.

Rising rates also mean that banks can earn a wider spread between what they pay out in savings account interest and what they earn from Treasuries.

Another great thing about buying bank shares is you don’t need to overthink it.

Just pick two or three of the country’s largest banks, like Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and you should have all the positive exposure to rising interest rates you need.

2. Insurance

Even when people slash their budgets to help offset rising prices, we know those auto and life insurance premiums will keep rolling in no matter what.

Which means although insurance may not be the most exciting industry, it’s a defensive business that can provide plenty of portfolio protection — especially since insurers typically earn better returns on their “float” when rates rise.

And on top of that, insurers often pay their shareholders dividends, which means you can count on a little extra cash a few times a year.

For those interested in investing in insurance, Chubb, Allstate and MetLife are some of the big, blue-chip names in the industry.

3. Precious metals

When it comes to investing in precious metals, these stock picks can be worth their weight in gold.

Gold and silver have long been considered safe haven assets, meaning when all else fails, their value doesn’t really tarnish.

You can always buy precious metal bullion or coins, but mining stocks and ETFs allow you to invest in the space at a low cost and without needing to find storage.

Moreover, large diversified mining companies like Rio Tinto and Freeport-McMoRan also dig up metals like copper, which is currently experiencing booming demand due to its role in electric vehicle production.

Historically, the best time to make money from metals is when inflation is poised to keep increasing — like right now.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

Here are three stocks added to the Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) List today:

Equinox Gold Corp. EQX engages in the exploration and development of mineral properties. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 20% downward over the last 60 days.

BHP Group Limited BHP is a resources company that operates in Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore, and Coal segments. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 18.4% downward over the last 60 days.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. HMC manufactures, and distributes motorcycles, automobiles, power products, and other products. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings has been revised 10.3% downward over the last 60 days.

View the entire Zacks Rank #5 List.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BHP Group Limited Sponsored ADR (BHP) : Free Stock Analysis Report Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report Equinox Gold Corp. (EQX) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research

It hasn’t been the best quarter for BHP Group Limited (ASX:BHP) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 24% in that time. Looking further back, the stock has generated good profits over five years. Its return of 56% has certainly bested the market return!

So let’s investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business’ progress.

Check out our latest analysis for BHP Group

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Over half a decade, BHP Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 46% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 9% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 8.68.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on BHP Group’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for BHP Group the TSR over the last 5 years was 148%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While it’s never nice to take a loss, BHP Group shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 1.0% wasn’t as bad as the market loss of around 4.0%. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 20%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we’ve spotted with BHP Group (including 1 which shouldn’t be ignored) .

BHP Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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MILAN, June 30, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thoughtworks (NASDAQ: TWKS), a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, today announced a strategic collaboration with lastminute.com, the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages.

lastminute.com will partner with Thoughtworks at a time when its business is rapidly resuming after the pandemic, and it is now back at full speed in delivering on its ambitious growth plans. To achieve this, its developer teams are evolving and growing in numbers, all in a very short timeframe and in a dynamic and complex technology landscape.

Thoughtworks will support lastminute.com in this exciting transformation phase, to continue to meet the rapid pace of change in the travel industry most effectively and create even more customer-centric experiences.

"At lastminute.com, we see ourselves as a tech company that travels. Every month we reach 60 million users via our websites and app and for us it is a business imperative to always make sure our clients have the best customer experience. The travel industry is continuously evolving and the global move to digitalization means we’ll increasingly grow our traffic, as more and more users search for and book their travel experiences online," said Corrado Casto, chief technology officer at lastminute.com. "The purpose of Thoughtworks, as stated on their website, is ‘To create an extraordinary impact on the world through our culture and technology excellence’. This is very much in line with my vision for our technology department, and I cannot wait to harness their thought leadership in software engineering to bring us one step closer to technology excellence."

The lastminute.com and Thoughtworks engineering teams will work side-by-side in a co-delivery setup on the most business-critical technologies and architectural challenges. The co-delivery work will be supported by coaching, training and mentoring sessions aimed at boosting lastminute.com’s ability to deliver engineering excellence and their ways of working.

"In the face of unpredictability and constant change, modern digital businesses such as lastminute.com have an advantage. They have learned to demand new levels of business agility and to continuously innovate," said Gautam Srusti, managing director at Thoughtworks Italy. "We’re excited to partner with lastminute.com as they continue to drive technology excellence and help people fulfill their aspirations as they return to traveling."

Supporting resources:

– ### – <TWKS915>

About lastminute.com lastminute.com is the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages. The company operates a portfolio of well-known brands such as lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost, Crocierissime and Hotelscan, with a vision to design the future of travel & tourism using digital technology as an enabler. The business is run in 17 languages and 40 countries, with more than 1,500 employees spread worldwide developing owned products and services aimed at powering the entire traveler journey for millions of people.

lastminute.com N.V. is a publicly traded company listed under the ticker symbol LMN on SIX Swiss Exchange.

About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220630005090/en/

Contacts

Media Aileen Pistorius, head of marketingEmail: aileen.pistorius@thoughtworks.com Phone: +39 02 124126310

BHP has announced plans to tackle biodiversity loss, in a move that the world’s biggest mining company hopes will put it ahead of rivals in the race to secure the best mineral deposits in the shift to clean energy. The biodiversity goal is part of a wider “social value” scorecard published on Tuesday that includes plans for a revised strategy on indigenous relations and full adherence to a programme on combating sexual assault and harassment in 2023. “The scrutiny of our industry continues to be high and the expectations on us are also high,” said BHP’s chief external affairs officer Caroline Cox.

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