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Why the Rio Tinto Limited share price is sliding

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is 1.6% lower this afternoon at $64.88 as the Australian dollar continues to appreciate against the U.S. dollar on the back of a dovish outlook statement from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

Adding fuel to the Australian dollar fire is the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest monetary statement on the macro outlook for Australia that has traders doubling down on bets that the bank’s next rate move will be to hike rates later in 2018.

Rio Tinto also today reconfirmed guidance that it will produce between 330 million to 340 million tonnes of iron ore in 2017. For the quarter ending March 31 2017 total Pilbara iron ore production was up 3% on the prior quarter, with “record quarterly bauxite production of 12.9 million tonne” which was 7% above the prior corresponding quarter.

The company’s quarterly production of copper also surged higher over a prior quarter that saw production slump due to strike action at the company’s Escondida mine in Chile. Copper prices are often seen as a proxy for global growth and surged higher overnight after China posted GDP growth of 6.9% to beat analysts’ expectations and provide more support for the local dollar.

Rio Tinto also confirmed that the deal to sign its Yancoal business to Coal & Allied for $2.69 billion is set to complete in the third quarter of 2017.

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The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Motley Fool writer Tom Richardson has no position in any 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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