BHP talks to Petrobras about Gulf oil stake

Miner BHP Billiton is in talks with Petrobras to buy a stake in the Brazilian energy giant's Gulf of Mexico oil fields, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal published late Wednesday night.

Miner BHP Billiton is in talks with Petrobras to buy a stake in the Brazilian energy giant's Gulf of Mexico oil fields, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal published late Wednesday night.

Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil company, has reportedly valued its US offshore fields at approximately $8bn and enlisted Morgan Stanley to find a buyer for some of these assets.

Reports in the Financial Times earlier in the week had suggested that Petrobras had narrowed the field to three possible bidders.

BHP Billiton, a FTSE-100 constituent, was down slightly in early morning trade. However, this is maybe a delayed reaction to concerns over the effects of a slowdown in China.

On Wednesday Sharecast reported that Bloomberg had cited ex-Morgan Stanley Chief Economist for Asia, Andy Xie, as forecasting that prices for iron ore - which reached a record $191.90 a metric ton on Feb. 16 last year - may plunge as low as $50 a tonne before the middle of next year. They haven't traded at that level since contract prices were set at $47 a ton in 2006.

Morgan Stanley, while reiterating its 'overweight' recommendation has also lowered its price target for BHP Billiton from 2,180p to 2100p.

CM

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