Steady stocks as PNG looks forward to LNG

PAPUA New Guinea stocks held steady this week as the government looked forward to growth driven by first gas from the PNG LNG project.

With a K15 billion budget for 2014 and a forecast of 6.2% economic growth, Treasurer Don Poly affirmed PNG's economy was expected to grow strongly as the much anticipated PNG LNG project comes online.

Meanwhile, the market looked to BHP Australian annual general meeting yesterday, where the mining giant's commitment to climate change dominated shareholder questions.

When the first four questions chairman Jac Nasser received were on climate change, it became clear the issue would be the hot topic at the Perth meeting.

Nasser said BHP had first started thinking about climate change two decades ago.

"So what you're asking us to do, in essence, we started doing 20 years ago," he told shareholders.

He went as far as saying BHP was a "dream" company to invest in against the backdrop of climate change.

"This company is well positioned for a company no one can define."

Nasser said he was frustrated by the fact that the company had the "foresight" to think about climate change so long ago but was coming under such scrutiny.

Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a milestone overnight when it closed above 16,000 for the first time ever.

The index reached more than 15,000 points for the first time in May, highlighting what has been a good year for equities.

The S&P 500 added 0.8%, while the NASDAQ jumped 1.2%.

Singapore Tapis crude closed at $US115.15 a barrel overnight, from $115.54 last Friday.

London Metal Exchange cash copper closed at $7024 a tonne overnight, a difference of just 0.34% from the price of $7000.25 at the end of last week.

By the same comparison, LME spot nickel's overnight price was $13,360/t, down 2.89% from last week's price of $13,758.

Spot gold was trading at about $1245 an ounce in the past 30 minutes, down 3.48% from the price of $1290 last Friday.

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