What’s going on with the BHP Billiton Limited share price today?

Credit: Lucas Walters

Surging commodity prices helped equity markets around the world to strong gains overnight, but they’re not helping BHP Billiton Limited’s (ASX: BHP) share price. Shares of the global mining giant have actually fallen 1% to $17.93 just after midday after trading as high as $18.37 late last week.

Iron ore has rebounded from its recent low and rose another 2.5% to US$42.31 a tonne overnight, according to data from The Metal Bulletin, while oil was up 3.1% and copper up 2.4% in New York.

Given that these three commodities represent three of BHP Billiton’s most important markets, one would be forgiven for thinking that the miner’s shares would also benefit today as a result – especially with the broader S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) rising strongly.

So What: Predicting the future of commodity prices is virtually impossible to do with any accuracy, although there are certainly strong headwinds facing the industry as a whole which could act as a drag on prices for years to come.

While the prices of those key commodities rose overnight, most experts are still suggesting there could be more pain to come over the next few months, or even years, which could continue to impact BHP Billiton’s cash flows and earnings.

BHP Billiton’s shares rose strongly last week, closing at $18.34 on Thursday, up 8.7% compared to the previous Friday. It’s possible that investors lack the confidence that BHP’s rally can actually be sustained, especially if commodity prices do reverse course again early in 2016.

Now What: BHP Billiton is one of Australia’s most widely-held shares, so many investors will be feeling the pain of its performance over the last 12 months. Although the shares are still languishing around levels not seen in the last decade, there could still be further pain to come in 2016. Personally, I think there are plenty of better companies to put your investment dollars in today instead.

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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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