BHP Group CEO says China experiencing 'pretty solid V-shaped recovery'

Following the unprecedented drop in global economic activity due to Covid-19, BHP Group CEO Mike Henry sees a recovery on the horizon, although it will take a few years.

“We’re expecting there’s going to be a sharp contraction in the global economy over this calendar year,” he said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “We then expect there to be a pretty sharp uptick again next year, so we foresee it taking about a year for the world to get back to the levels of economic activity that existed pre-Covid, and maybe two or three years for the world to get back fully on the track that it would have been on if not for for Covid-19,” he added.

As the world’s largest miner, BHP is heavily exposed to economic booms and busts. One bright spot is China, where Henry said a “pretty solid V-shaped recovery” is underway.

On Monday spot iron ore prices rose to their highest level since 2014, amid an infrastructure boom in China, according to commodity price reporting agency Argus.

In July the nation imported a record 112.65 million metric tons of iron ore — a 24% year-over-year jump — as the government continues to inject money into the economy. 

“The [Chinese] government has stepped in with some stimulus that we expect is going to create further momentum through to next calendar year. So things are looking pretty positive and pretty resilient,” Henry said.

BHP’s results for the year ending June 30, which were released on Aug. 18, showed that iron ore accounted for 48% of the company’s revenue. Given the relatively high-margin nature of the segment, it made up 64% of the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 

Climate action ‘good’ for BP

ESG investing, or when a company’s environmental, social and governance factors are considered alongside traditional financial metrics, is growing in popularity.  During the second quarter global assets under management in sustainability-focused funds topped $1 trillion for the first time, according to data from Morningstar.

Part of BHP’s operation focuses on coal, meaning environmentally conscious investors could shun the stock.

But Henry said that at the end of the day action on climate change is good for the company since it will build a more resilient world economy. Additionally, he noted that the company is one of the world’s largest providers of nickel, which is used in batteries for electric vehicles.

BHP has said that it plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, but has yet to detail a plan of how it will reach that target.

Shares of BHP are flat this year.

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Marshall Emberton review: a rock solid portable Bluetooth speaker

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

This brand-new Bluetooth speaker leans heavily into the Marshall heritage (Image: MARSHALL )

There’s so much to love about the Marshall Emberton. For years, our go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a Bluetooth speaker was to buy the latest entry in the UE Boom range – these speakers sound phenomenal, have a fun design, and are built to withstand a dunk in the pool and a the usual British summer downpours.

But listening to our favourite tracks on the Emberton over the last few weeks, for the first time in years, we’re starting to seriously doubt that advice.

Of course, your mileage with the Marshall Emberton will vary based on what affinity you have for the iconic brand and its history. Like the recent Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones, the Emberton wireless speaker really leans into the heritage of the Marshall brand. And if you’ve never heard of Marshall, chances are the Emberton’s tactile amp-like finish, brass control button, and solid metal grille will fail to conjure any fuzzy feelings.

In fact, the Emberton might look bafflingly retro compared to the clean, modern aesthetic of the UE Boom 3. However, if you’re the sort of person who has recently caught themselves rewatching Roger Daltrey and Eric Clapton performances on YouTube …you’re going to be made up with the nostalgia-drenched design of this new Bluetooth speaker. For our money, this £129.99 portable Bluetooth speaker looks every bit as good as a Marshall stack blasting out a solo from Angus Young.

But don’t worry, Marshall isn’t solely trading on nostalgia with the Emberton. Beneath the 1960s amp stylings, there is a brilliant 21st century Bluetooth speaker to be found.

Powered by Bluetooth 5.0, the Emberton will connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device – from your iPhone, to a laptop – within a 30ft (9.5 metres) range. That means you’ll be able to leave your smartphone inside your house charging while still playing music in the garden outside without worrying about any crackling interference ruining the chorus.

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

The Emberton is rated IPX7, which essentially means it can survive a plunge in the pool (Image: MARSHALL )

The Emberton is rated IPX7 for water resistance, which allows it to be submerged in 3ft (one-metre) of fresh water up to 30 minutes without causing any damage. That means you can place it precariously on the edge of pools, baths, or even balance it with you on an inflatable. Unless you’ve got a specific shower playlist, this isn’t the sort of feature you’ll use every day… but it can be a real lifesaver.

As well as being weather resistant enough to bring along for outdoor summer BBQs in the British weather, the Marshall Emberton has enough battery life to see off the final hangers-on at the party. With 20 hours or so of Bluetooth playback, despite its diminutive size, the Emberton is no slouch.

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

Don’t be fooled by the small size, the Emberton packs a serious punch (Image: MARSHALL )

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

One of our favourite features is the battery life indicator, which lets you glance to check the remaining charge (Image: MARSHALL )

In our tests, we were able to listen to playlists at our desk for the majority of the working week before it needed a charge.

This portable Bluetooth speaker looks every bit as good as a Marshall stack blasting out a solo from Angus Young

One of our favourite features on the Emberton is the battery indicator next to the playback controls, which shows the remaining charger in ten bars. With each indicator light accounting for a little over 2-hours of playback, it’s a brilliant way to quickly judge whether you need to fish-out a charging cable before you sling the Emberton into your backpack.

And when you do need to charge, the built-in quick-charge means you can add five-hours of music playback with just 20-minutes plugged into the wall. Charging is handled via USB-C, so you shouldn’t have to bring a different cable to your laptop, Nintendo Switch, smartphone, wireless headphones, or tablet… unless you have an iPhone, that is.

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

The Emberton uses Bluetooth 5.0, so you can connect with an iPhone, Android smartphone, tablet or PC (Image: MARSHALL )

But what about the sound? Thankfully, the Marshall Emberton seriously delivers in that department too.

Despite its diddy size, the Emberton can crank it up to 11. According to the firm, Emberton leverages “True Stereophonic”, which the marketing department herald as “a unique form of multi-directional sound from Marshall”. In our time with the speaker, songs sound good from wherever you’re standing – and the volume is truly epic to boot. With the speaker turned up, you won’t need anyone else to bring a Bluetooth speaker to fill a gathering for friends and family with sound – regardless of whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Of course, bigger speakers are available (not least from Marshall) for those who need industrial levels of volume, but the Marshall Emberton has enough oomph to rattle the table it’s sitting on.

Marshall Emberton Price Bluetooth Speaker Review Wireless Release Date UK

If the Marshall brand means nothing to you, the design could be a little baffling (Image: MARSHALL )

Marshall Emberton Bluetooth speaker: Final Verdict

  • Pros: Great Sound, Nostalgic Design With Bags Of Personality, Battery Indicator Is Really Handy, Water Resistant 
  • Cons: Design Might Not Appeal To Everyone 

If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds great, charges quickly, and can withstand a plunge in the pool on your next summer holiday – you really can’t go wrong with the Marshall Embleton.

The omnidirectional control button at the top of the speaker is a foolproof way to skip forward or backwards around your playlist, adjust the volume, play and pause. The battery indicator means you check the amount of charge with a glance… rather than digging into the settings on your phone as you have to do with some speakers, or wait patiently until a red light suddenly appears from nowhere and starts flashing at you.

And best of all, the Marshall Emberton sounds great. There’s plenty of bass, but enough to overwhelm your favourite track. And despite its rock ‘n roll stylings, this Bluetooth speaker can handle just about every genre you throw at it.

In the end, the only thing that might put you off this £129.99 Bluetooth speaker is the nostalgic design. For our money, it’s one of the best looking Bluetooth speakers available right now… but if you’re looking for something that resembles a Beats Pill, we can’t imagine the rugged 60 year-old amp design of the Emberton will quite cut it.



Thomas Meunier to Borussia Dortmund: Lucien Favre building on solid foundations

For eight seasons in a row, Borussia Dortmund have had to watch on as Bayern Munich have produced one of the most dominant eras in German football history.

While their own respective title tilts have paled in comparison, BVB are still seen as the challengers-in-chief to the record titleholders. The storyline though, is becoming repetitive, with Dortmund short of the “winning-gene” that gets credited to their Bavarian counterparts.

As they look to break the cycle, one of the greatest challenges facing the Ruhrpott club remains the transitional nature of their squad. Big names come and go when “bigger” clubs come knocking or titles aren’t forthcoming, while potential era-defining talents are often sold at a mark up – Jadon Sancho could tick both boxes this summer. 

The question of whether Lucien Favre is the man to end a run of 8 years without a league title is still being asked. But the club have reaffirmed their faith in the Swiss tactician and, with more fluctuation in personnel expected, reinvestment in his vision has already begun.

Lucien Favre has the backing of the Dortmund hierarchy (Getty Images/F. Vogel)

Lucien Favre has the backing of the Dortmund hierarchy

Rumors still have Dortmund as favorites to capture the services of Birmingham City’s 16-year-old Jude Bellingham. It would be a signing which speaks to the mantra of investing in youth for added value that has made BVB one of Europe‘s most profitable teams.

Pragmatism means progress?

Meanwhile, a deal already done has seen Thomas Meunier complete a free transfer from Paris-Saint Germain. It’s a move which underlines the more pragmatic approach the club have taken in the transfer market to build a team capable of winning silverware. This tweak has produced the signings of Mats Hummels, Emre Can and Axel Witsel in recent seasons.

It’s no longer just about finding uncut gems, but signing finished products with title-winning pedigree, who can buy into the BVB style of play, as they look to add the trimmings to a side that unquestionably has the potential to be crowned Bundesliga champions. Meunier appears to fit the bill.

“Thomas Meunier is a player who has demonstrated his quality at the highest level in the Champions League and in the national team over a long period of time,” sporting director Michael Zorc, who extended his contract this week, said. “He’ll really benefit us with his experience.”

Band of Belgians

The 28-year-old right-back, who once came close to giving up on a football career when he was released by Standard Liege at the age of 15, collected three winner’s medals in four seasons with PSG in Ligue 1 and has his sights set on more silverware.

“Borussia Dortmund play exactly the football that I want to play: exciting, authentic and natural,” said the 40-time Belgian international. “I’m ambitious and, like with Brugge and Paris, I want to win titles with Dortmund.”

Given Favre’s penchant for speaking French and BVB’s Belgian connection with Witsel and Thorgan Hazard, everything is set up for a seamless transition for the player who came close to joining Bayern in the winter transfer window.

Achraf Hakimi has defined Dortmund’s right-wing back role, but his performances have been so good that the club don’t hold much hope of retaining his services beyond the two-year loan deal with Real Madrid that expires this summer. Inter are said to be closing in on a deal for the marauding Moroccan.

Meunier has big shoes to fill and while an attacking mindset and a greater sense of defensive stability are tangible assets for Favre, the intangible experience of knowing what it takes to win titles could be of greatest value to the man being charged with delivering a league title for Dortmund.