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BHP Billiton share price: Societe Generale turns bullish on miner

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Societe Generale has lifted its stance on BHP Billiton (LON:BLT), pointing to the Anglo-Australian miner’s nickel, copper and oil exposure, Proactive Investors reports. The comments come ahead of the FTSE 100 group’s operational review on April 19.

BHP Billiton’s share price, however, has fallen into the red in today’s session, alongside other London-listed miners, following the latest round of US sanctions against Russia. As of 12:24 BST, the shares were changing hands 1.15 percent in the red at 1,372.80p, underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.23 percent worse off at 7,166.91 points.

Societe Generale upbeat on BHP

Societe Generale lifted its rating on BHP Billiton to ‘buy’ today, arguing that compared to some of its peers, the blue-chip miner has a favourable exposure to copper, nickel and oil which the analysts expect to perform better than bulk products such as coal and iron ore.

Proactive Investors quoted the broker’s analyst Christian Georges as elaborating that the group’s increased exposure to copper would be a good thing, given that he expects higher demand for batteries – both for electric vehicles and energy storage – to prop up copper prices in the near-term.

“Overall, c.48% of the group’s net asset value is exposed to resilient underlying prices (nickel, copper and oil), which contrasts in the sector with the weaker price environment in the bulk products (iron ore and coal),” the analyst said in a research note.

Other analysts on blue-chip miner

Liberum Capital meanwhile reaffirmed BHP Billiton as a ‘sell’ today, with a price target of 800p, while Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘hold’ stance on the shares on Friday, without specifying a valuation. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip miner currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,477.29p.

As of 14:01 BST, Monday, 09 April, BHP Billiton plc share price is 1,366.80p.

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