Up 12% in April – what’s driving the Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) share price?

The Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) share price has had a great month on the ASX. Let’s take a deep dive into what’s been driving it through April.

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The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price has had a great month on the ASX.

At the time of writing, the mining giant’s share price has risen by 12% since the end of March. Rio Tinto shares are currently swapping hands for $123.64 apiece.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has risen by 3.6% over the same timeframe, while the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is up 3.8%.

Let’s take a deep dive into what’s been driving the Rio Tinto share price over the last month.

What has Rio Tinto been up to in April?

The rallying of both the Aussie dollar and iron ore prices has helped boost the Rio Tinto share price over the last month.

The Australian dollar is currently worth 78 US cents. It’s risen by 2.3% over the course of April. As nearly all commodities are valued in US dollars, the company’s profit margin increases with the strength of the Aussie dollar.

This month also saw iron ore prices hit a record Australian dollar high. As the ABC reported on 20 April, the spot price for high quality iron ore in China was approximately $233 per tonne.

Rio Tinto released its quarterly results on 20 April. While the company’s results were positive, they didn’t blow investors out of the water. That day, its share price ending the session trading 0.5% lower than the previous day. 

However, the Rio Tinto share price was boosted by its whopping 3.9% final dividend, which the company paid to shareholders on 5 April. ASX investors with Rio Tinto shares in their portfolio would have received $5.17 per share.

In news from Rio Tinto not released to the ASX, the company achieved battery grade lithium at its Californian plant this month. To produce the lithium, the company is using waste piles at the Boron mine site, which have accumulated by more than 90 years of mining at the site.

Rio Tinto share price snapshot

April’s gains have come at a great time for the Rio Tinto share price. It hit its lowest closing price of 2021 in late March.

Currently, it’s up 7.1% year to date. It’s also up 44% over the last 12 months. Right now, it’s only 5% lower than its all-time highest closing price, which it hit in February this year.

The company has a market capitalisation of around $45 billion, with approximately 1.6 billion shares outstanding.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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