News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Coal-seam fires common but extremely difficult to manage; War talk puts prices on the march; and iron ore slump to hurt BHP, Rio earnings, says Citi.

Lou Caruana

Coal-seam fires common but extremely difficult to manage

Scientists say the Hazelwood coal fire could burn for months or longer, and efforts to extinguish the blaze could prolong it, according to The Australian.

War talk puts prices on the march

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Ukraine is shaping as a key driver of commodity prices over the coming days as the rising tensions in the region start to push gold, oil and gas prices higher, according to The Australian.

Oil futures rose as much as 2% yesterday amid the turmoil in Ukraine, which has mobilised its army reserves after Russia seized control of Crimea.

Iron ore slump to hurt BHP, Rio earnings, says Citi

A plunge in the price of iron ore has prompted Citi to downgrade its expectations the earnings of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto this year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The investment bank has joined Goldman Sachs in tipping the price of iron ore - Australia's most lucrative export - to crash to $US80 a tonne within the next two years.

Citi analysts led by Clarke Wilkins downgraded their recommendations for BHP and Rio from buy to neutral, with share price targets falling from $A39 to $38 and $80 to $74 respectively.

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