CRUSHED: Why the BHP Billiton Limited share price crashed today

Credit: Alex Proimos

The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) share price has taken another pounding today. The shares threatened to fall through the $17 mark but stopped at a low of $17.06 and have since rebounded to $17.14. They’re trading 4.7% lower for the day.

Source: ASX website; One-month BHP Billiton share price chart

Source: ASX website; One-month BHP Billiton share price chart

Although there have been numerous factors weighing on BHP’s share price in recent months, today’s heavy fall can be associated with the falls in the iron ore and oil prices overnight. Indeed, iron ore and oil are BHP Billiton’s two most important commodities and make up the bulk of the miner’s earnings.

Iron ore continued its rapid descent, falling another 2.4% to US$39.06 a tonne, according to The Metal Bulletin, while Brent oil and US crude oil fell 4.9% and 5.8%, respectively. This after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, failed to ease the global supply glut.

The global supply of oil is thought to be around 2 million barrels per day higher than demand, creating enormous stockpiles of the resource. It was hoped that OPEC would cut supplies by introducing a new production ceiling but instead, the oil cartel refused to do so. Hence oil prices have fallen, taking the world’s energy producers down with them.

Indeed, numerous other companies have also been impacted. The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price, for instance, is down 13.3%, while Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are down 16.2% and 3.6%.

The iron ore miners haven’t fared much better. Rio Tinto Limited’s (ASX: RIO) share price crashed 3.5%, while Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) shares lost 3.4%.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

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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