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Markets, BHP upbeat

Futures are indicating a positive day on the markets after China indicated further economic stimulus to counteract the impact of COVID-19, the coronavirus.
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BHP’s WA iron ore operations

Staff reporter

European markets closed higher yesterday, as did Shanghai's Composite Index which gained 2.28%.

The World Health Organisation put the number of confirmed cases yesterday at 71,429 globally, with more than 1,770 deaths, with its tally now including both laboratory and clinically diagnosed cases.

The world's biggest miner by market capitalisation, BHP (ASX: BHP), today reported a 29% jump in attributable profit for the half-year to December 31, to US$4.9 billion.

Its shares were up 1.14% in morning trade.

"BHP is in good shape," CEO Mike Henry said.

"Despite near term uncertainty - due to the coronavirus outbreak, trade policy and geopolitics - we remain convinced about the positive underlying fundamentals of our commodities."

Base metals except aluminium had closed higher in London yesterday.

Gold was down slightly, about US$1,581 an ounce on the spot market.

North American markets were closed for public holidays yesterday.