Rio Tinto

Ticker RIO

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As of 17:03 17 Oct 2018
Market cap. Pound sterling
49,437.90 million
As of 17:03 17 Oct 2018

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Rio Tinto and partners invest $1.6bn in iron ore projects

Mining equipment at work at an iron ore mine in the Pilbara region

Rio Tinto and its Japanese joint venture partners will spend around $1.6bn (£1.2bn) on two iron ore projects in Western Australia.

The investment, made with Mitsui & Co and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, will help sustain production capacity at the projects in the mineral-rich Pilbara region.

It comes as the British-Australian mining firm sells off its coal assets and turns to focus on core commodities, including iron-ore.

FTSE 100 drops on commodity price falls

The FTSE 100, the blue chip stock index, has reversed earlier gains and is now trading down 0.77% at 7,553.35.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, says: "The FTSE was crushed under the weight of its sizeable commodity stocks on Wednesday, plunging towards 7,550 as chaos spread throughout the sector.

Trucks loading copper ore
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"With Brent Crude falling under $72 per barrel after slipping 1%, gold sliding to $1,192 an ounce and copper sinking around 2.5% to hit a fresh 13 month low, the FTSE’s oil and mining firms were not in a good way.

"BP and Shell both slipped 0.7%, the likes of Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta were down anywhere between 2.5% and 4%, and Fresnillo shed 5.5%.

"All this led to the UK index itself dropping 70 points, testing intraday lows last seen at the start of the month."

FTSE slides; Next extends fall

London Stock Exchange
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The FTSE 100 is down 1% at 7,665.93.

Next's shares have extended earlier falls and are now down 6.7% at £55.37.

The retailer is followed by the mining group Rio Tinto, whose share price is down 4% at £40.25.

Rio Tinto reported underlying profits up 12% over the interim period but at $4.42bn, income was below forecasts of $4.53bn.

Packaging specialist Smurfit Kappa led the FTSE 100 risers, up 2.1% at £31.99 after reporting strong first half results.

The FTSE 250 is down 0.35% at 20,805.11.

Miners lead share price risers

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Superdry and Drax are the biggest fallers on the FTSE 250 so far this morning, down 7.5% and 5.6% respectively.

Mining groups dominated the risers, led by gold specialist Centamin which is ahead 2.8% at 121.8p.

It was the same on the FTSE 100 where Rio Tinto's share price gained the most, up 1.6% at £41.28.

On the fallers, BP led the way, down 0.8% at 561.9p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 has trimmed early gains and is now up 0.08% at 7,661.76.

The FTSE 250 is ahead 0.23% at 20,818.44.

Rio Tinto sells copper mine stake

Copper mine
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Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its stake in the Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia to the country's state-owned firm Inalum for $3.5bn.

Rio Tinto's share price rose 0.5% to £40.42.

Rio Tinto's annual profit soars

A iron ore mine in Western Australia
Getty Images

Global mining firm Rio Tinto has posted a massive jump in annual profit thanks to rising commodity prices.

Underlying earnings for 2017 hit $8.6bn (£6.2bn), up from $5.1bn a year earlier and broadly in line with analyst expectations.

Strong demand for materials including iron ore and coal boosted profits at the British-Australian giant.

It had more good news for shareholders, announcing a record full-year dividend of $2.90 per share, and a $1bn share buyback.

Rio Tinto slips on wet weather

Large mining truck

Mining giant Rio Tinto has revealed a 3% fall in first quarter iron-ore production from a year ago, due to wet weather at its mines.

But the firm is keeping its full-year guidance intact, despite weakening ore prices. Iron ore prices dropped by more than 33% since hitting a peak of $94.86/tonne in mid-February.

Rio also reported a 37% decline in copper output during the first quarter, due to a strike in Chile. That was at the Escondida mine where Rio has a 30% interest.