1%+ pullback in US/European markets, BHP London reverses gains, precious metals higher, ASX futures down 31 points

Evidently Australian investors liked the news from BHP yesterday more than the Brits did, as BHP's London listing (BLT) fell 6% following a +2.62% move in Sydney. While Glencore (GLEN) and Rio Tinto (RIO) fell by around 3% each, it was BHP and Anglo American (ALL) that were hardest hit among the big miners in London. There was a bit of volatility in oil markets overnight, but that's being overplayed – there was nothing out of the ordinary in the context of the severity of recent moves in oil markets. After a very positive two weeks of trading, equity markets were simply ripe for a breather. This was helped along by US consumer confidence for February, which came in at a contracting level of 92.2 versus expectations of 97.3 and a previous read of 98.1.
As I wrote a week ago, it is not in Iran's interests to join hands with the Saudis and Russians and agree to an oil supply freeze when that industry is just beginning to breathe again following the lifting of sanctions. And, possibly fuelled by their ideological differences, Iran wasn't shy about telling the press what Iran thought of the request, "This is more like a joke that they tell us they would freeze their production above 10 million bpd and that we should also in turn freeze our production at one million bpd," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh told Iran's Press TV.
Iron ore (US$51.60) edged higher last night and, importantly, held it's US$50+ level in the face of risk-off behaviour in equity and oil markets, while copper fell -0.73%.

Source: Rivkin, Saxo Bank
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This article was written by Scott Schuberg, CEO of Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via [email protected] or by phoning +612 8302 3600.