Mining giant BHP Billiton posts $5.7 billion half year loss

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Mining giant BHP Billiton has reported a half year net loss of $5.67 billion and warned that the current period of weak commodity prices will be prolonged.

The result for the six months through December 2015 announced on Tuesday was down 233 percent from the $5.35 billion the Anglo-Australian company posted for the same period a year earlier.

Underlying profit for the latest half year fell 92 percent to $412 million as lower commodity prices cut $7.8 billion in earnings.

The Melbourne, Australia-based company slashed its interim dividend to 16 cents per share, from 62 cents a year ago.