I wouldn’t want to own BHP Billiton Limited shares when this happens…

Credit: Lucas Walters

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) shares have slipped more than 2% today, despite a strong rise in the price of iron ore.

Indeed, according to The Metal Bulletin, the metal’s value climbed 3.5% during the latest session to US$79.61 a tonne, reflecting a massive 13.2% rally over the past four sessions. It’s also just below a recent high which could see it climb above US$80 a tonne, and potentially higher.

Given that so much of BHP’s income is generated from mining and selling iron ore, you would be forgiven for assuming its shares would benefit from such a strong lift in the iron ore price overnight.

The reason for BHP’s decline today likely stems from the heavy decline experienced by one of BHP’s other important commodities. The price of Brent oil fell 3.6% during the latest session and has extended its slide today, now fetching just US$46.82 per barrel.

That has certainly impacted shares of other energy businesses including Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), which have both fallen 2.5%.

Although BHP’s shares have risen strongly over the past 10 months or so, they do represent a risky investment prospect. It’s fair to argue that the recent iron ore rally hasn’t been entirely justified and that a correction of sorts could occur at some point in the near future.

There is no point in speculating when that might occur, but I wouldn’t want to be holding BHP’s shares if or when that happens.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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