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BHP closes at record high on ASX

BHP shares passed through A$50 for the first time on the ASX today.
BHP closes at record high on ASX BHP closes at record high on ASX BHP closes at record high on ASX BHP closes at record high on ASX BHP closes at record high on ASX

The stock had several record closes earlier this week before easing mid-week.

Shares rose as high as $50.09 and closed 0.5% higher at $49.95, giving it a market capitalisation of $253 billion.

The stock has been buoyed by a positive start to the year for the key commodities it produces - iron ore and copper - due to China's reopening after the abandonment its strict COVID zero policy.

BHP also reported a strong December half of production.

BHP CEO Mike Henry said it was BHP's belief that China would be a stabilising force for commodity demand in 2023, offsetting headwinds in OECD countries.

"China's pro-growth policies, including in the property sector, and an easing of COVID-19 restrictions are expected to support progressive improvement from the difficult economic conditions of the first half," he said.

"China is expected to achieve its fifth straight year of over 1 billion tonnes of steel production."

The strong quarter resulted in price target upgrades from analysts.

"BHP remains in robust shape, but compared to mid-2022 its earnings profile, operating conditions and global macro conditions have all reduced," Morgans analyst Adrian Prendergast said.

"Despite this BHP continues to push to fresh record highs in terms of share price.

"As a result, we are left believing BHP is trading moderately ahead of fundamentals and maintain our hold rating with an upgraded $47 per share target [up $2]."

Macquarie maintained its outperform rating and increased its price target by 4% to $52.