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Why these 4 ASX shares dropped lower today

In afternoon trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has recovered from heavy declines in the morning and is down just under 0.1% to 6,325 points.

Four shares that have acted as a drag on the market today are listed below. Here’s why they are dropping lower:

The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) share price has fallen 2.5% to $32.86. The mining giant’s shares have come under pressure today after base metal and oil prices fell heavily overnight. BHP is just one of a number of resources shares sinking lower after base metal prices, except for aluminium, fell to their lowest levels of the year.

The Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price has tumbled 7.5% to $9.76 after the release of the mineral sands producer’s half-year results. Despite Iluka reporting revenue growth of 24% to $662 million and net profit after tax growth of 255% to $126 million, the market was expecting an even stronger result today. In addition to this, the company warned that the cost of the expansion of its Sierra Rutile operation may be up to 60% higher than expected.

The InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) share price has plunged 8% lower to $13.28 following the release of the funeral company’s half-year results. InvoCare reported a disappointing 0.4% rise in operating revenue to $225.7 million and a 7.3% decline in operating earnings after tax to $23.5 million. Management also warned of a potential downgrade to its prior full-year guidance. Advising that if soft market conditions continue, it is likely to result in a mid-single digit decline in operating EBITDA on a like-for-like basis.

The Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) share price has fallen 7% to $13.88 a day after the release of the miner and mining services company’s full-year results. Yesterday its shares rose strongly after it reported a net profit increase of 35% to $272 million. Today’s decline could be a combination of profit taking and its shares being caught up in today’s resources selloff.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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