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August 18, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – BHP profits fall – diamond imports drop 82% in India – FTSE 100 sees mining companies strengthen

By Matthew Hall

18 August

BHP has reported that its annual profit declined 4.3%, as disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic overshadowed iron ore prices and suppressed signs of a demand rebound from China. For the year that ended 30 June, the company’s underlying profit attributable from continuing operations fell to $9.06bn from $9.47bn a year ago. BHP also declared a final dividend of 55 cents per share, which is down from 78 cents a year earlier.

Figures released by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have revealed that the import of rough diamonds in India registered an 82% decline between April and July this year after international flights were suspended and travel restrictions were imposed in mining countries to contain the spread of Covid-19. As per the figures, the gross import of rough diamonds during the period fell to $712m compared to $4bn during the same period a year ago, TNN reported.

London’s FTSE 100 index has inched higher for the first time in three sessions as mining stocks were powered owing to more stimulus in China, and investors eyed a slate of economic data due to be released later in the week to gauge the pace of a rebound after the pandemic. Reuters reported that the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, with mining companies Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Anglo American adding between 1.7% and 2.4%.

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