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BHP Billiton share price heads south as Deutsche Bank trims stance

Shares in BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) have fallen into the red in today’s session as Deutsche Bank lowered rating on the blue-chip miner. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as arguing that the stock’s near-term catalysts were now in the past.

As of 13:37 BST, BHP Billiton’s share price had lost 2.35 percent to 1,481.40p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.56 percent lower at 7,238.41 points. The group’s shares have added more than four percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent dip in the Footsie.

Deutsche Bank trims stance on BHP Billiton

Deutsche Bank lowered its rating on BHP Billiton from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’ today, trimming its valuation on the shares from 1,860p to 1,800p. Proactive Investors quoted the broker’s analyst Liam Fitzpatrick as acknowledging the group’s strong share price performance since the turn of the year, and cautioning that the “major near-term catalysts are behind us”.

The comments come amid what has been a busy year for the Anglo-Australian miner which recently disposed of its US shale gas assets, improved its operational performance and declared a record dividend pay-out following a 33-percent jump in profits.

Fitzpatrick, however, sees  room for BHP to get rid of some of its other non-core assets from its portfolio.

“We still see other assets in the portfolio that are, like the South 32 assets previously, likely to receive less capital than the major divisions. These include Nickel West, the Australian oil/gas assets and NSW Energy Coal,” the analyst pointed out.

Other analysts on Anglo-Australian miner

Credit Suisse reaffirmed BHP Billiton as a ‘neutral’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 miner currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,732.44p.

As of 14:00 BST, Tuesday, 11 September, BHP Billiton plc share price is 1,479.40p.

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