What happened to the Rio Tinto share price throughout March?

Rio Tinto shares staged a late comeback last month…

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Key points

  • Rio Tinto shares finished the end of last month at $116.91, registering a 1% gain for the period 
  • The company recently acquired Rincon Mining for $825 million 
  • Iron ore prices ticked up following a positive outlook on Chinese demand 

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price edged 1% higher last month after struggling to gain form early on.

In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) surged more than 6% following a rebound across the broader market.

Let’s take a look below at what’s the latest with the mining giant’s shares over the past month.

What happened to Rio Tinto shares in March?

Investors appeared mixed on Rio Tinto shares last month despite the company announcing the completion of the Rincon lithium project.

Rio Tinto acquired the project from Rincon Mining for $825 million, following approval from Australia’s foreign investment review board (FIRB).

Rincon is a large undeveloped lithium brine project located in the heart of the lithium triangle in the Salta Province of Argentina.

With the lithium revolution continuing to keep pace, Rio Tinto is looking to get in on the action.

In addition, the company’s largest commodity, iron ore rose 11% in March after a bumpy ride earlier on.

It seems that markets are expecting demand to pick up again in China when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Nonetheless a couple of brokers weighed in on Rio Tinto’s shares with varying price points at the end of March.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley raised its price target by 7% to $130.50 for the Rio Tinto share price. Based on Friday’s closing price of $120.34, this implies an upside of roughly 8.4% for investors.

The team at UBS also changed it assessment, upgrading its rating to “neutral” from “sell”. Although the price target was lifted by 15% to $104 apiece, this represents a downside of around 15%.

Rio Tinto share price snapshot

Since the beginning of 2022, the Rio Tinto share price has gained 20% and is up around 7% for the last 12 months.

The company’s shares reached a 52-week low of $87.28 in November, before zipping 38% higher to Friday’s closing price.

Rio Tino has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.35 and commands a market capitalisation of roughly $44.67 billion.

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. 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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