BP Plc offered a glimpse of the profitability of its huge and secretive trading arm, suggesting it makes annual returns of as much as $2.5 billion.
Not since the days of fugitive oil merchant Marc Rich has the commodities trading industry faced so much global scrutiny.
Commodities would be particularly exposed if U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on foreign solar panels and washing machines sparks a tit-for-tat trade war with nations around the world.
Sterling plunged to a fresh 31-year low as the Bank of England said it would boost lending by up to £150 billion to help ease the economic pressure caused by the Brexit vote.
The London stock market rose strongly, driven by mining and oil stocks which clawed back much of yesterday’s heavy losses.
Scottish engineering firm Weir Group PLC on Thursday said trading in the first quarter was slightly ahead of its expectations, boosted by cost cutting and a resilient performance from its minerals arm.
Commodity stocks have taken a hammering after a slump in the oil price dragged the London market into the red.
Commodities including oil and copper are at risk of steep declines as recent advances aren’t fully grounded in improved fundamentals, according to Barclays Plc, which warned that prices may tumble as investors rush for the exits.
BHP Billiton said progress has been made in its negotiations with Brazilian authorities on a settlement for the Samarco tailings mine dam burst.
BHP Billiton made a larger-than-expected cut to its dividend, lowering the payout for the first time in 15 years, as the world’s biggest mining company seeks to protect its balance sheet and credit ratings amid a price collapse that saw first-half profits tumble 92%.