Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The end of China's boom years -- perspective from Reuters Melbourne, Australia office

Ending China boom to boost BHP, Rio profit but big writedowns expected

Author: Sonali Paul
Tuesday , 03 Feb 2009

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -

Global miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto should post solid six-month earnings growth, but results will feature hefty writedowns and mark the end of a China-powered boom.

Brokers have cut their forecasts for the world's biggest and third-biggest diversified miners following their production reports, and investors are now focused on how cost reductions and spot sales of iron ore might have helped them shore up profits.

Rising costs had been a major problem over the past two years, in face of labor shortages and soaring energy and steel prices, but those have now eased...

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