Here's what moved BHP shares in April

BHP shares managed to slightly outperform the ASX 200 in April.

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There were multiple forces both pulling and pushing on BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) shares in April.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant closed out March trading for $44.27. When the bell sounded the end of trading on 30 April, those same shares were swapping hands for $43.03 apiece, down 2.8%.

That's slightly better than the 3.0% loss posted by the ASX 200 in April.

Here's what moved BHP shares over the month.

What's been happening with BHP shares?

In the first week of April, it looked like BHP shares could get walloped by a sinking iron ore price.

However, following on stronger economic data and stimulus hopes out of steel-hungry China, the iron ore price rebounded over the following weeks, helping support the ASX 200 miner.

BHP also got a boost on 18 April, when the company reported its third-quarter production results.

That came despite the miner's iron ore production declining by 7% year on year to 61.5 million tonnes (Mt). Production was partly impacted by wet weather. However, BHP's iron ore production guidance for FY 2024 was unchanged in the range of 254Mt to 264.5Mt.

On the energy front, metallurgical coal production increased by 6% year on year to 6Mt while thermal coal production was up 8% to 4.1Mt.

And with global interest in copper growing alongside the surging price of the red metal, investors will have noted the miner's 7% year on year increase in copper production to 465.9kt.

BHP shares closed up 1.5% on the day.

All eyes on copper

Speaking of copper, the ASX 200 miner made global headlines on 26 April after announcing it had made a non-binding, all scrip offer to acquire Anglo American (LSE: AAL) for 31.1 billion pounds, or approximately AU$60 billion.

That acquisition has yet to proceed. But if Anglo American and BHP were to merge, BHP would become the largest copper miner on Earth, producing some 10% of the world's annual output.

With the $60 billion price tag likely in mind, investors were hitting the sell button on the day, sending BHP shares down 4.6%.

On Monday, 29 April, investors learned that Anglo American had rejected the takeover offer, with the board saying it significantly undervalued the company and its future growth prospects.

Anglo American chair, Stuart Chambers said, "Anglo American is well positioned to create significant value from its portfolio of high-quality assets that are well aligned with the energy transition and other major demand trends."

BHP shares closed down 0.4% on Monday amid the news.

There's no confirmation yet on what BHP's next move will be. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the ASX 200 miner come back with an improved offer.

Stay tuned.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben 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 Scott Phillips.

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