BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, fell the most in more than a month in Sydney trading after economic growth in China, its biggest customer, unexpectedly eased in the fourth quarter.
BHP fell 3.1 percent to A$32.31 at the local time, the most since March 4. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company, dropped 3.2 percent, also the most since March 4.
China’s gross domestic product rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing. That compares with the 8 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 41 analysts and 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, and adds to concern the global recovery is struggling.
BHP expects growth in China, which accounted for 30 percent of its sales during fiscal 2013, to moderate toward 6 percent after two years, Chief Financial Officer Graham Kerr said April 10. China’s industrial output in March rose 8.9 percent, today’s report showed. That compares with the median estimate of 10.1 percent in a Bloomberg survey and a 9.9 percent pace in the first two months combined.