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Stock Roundup: BHP takes a hit from graft probe

THE controversy engulfing mining giant BHP Billiton hit its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange last week, as the company posted seven straight days of decline.

BHP announced Wednesday that it is conducting an internal investigation of corruption allegations, prompted by the US government. The case may be linked to its former concession in Mondulkiri province. Its shares fell to A$41.97 (US$38.85) Friday after starting the week at A$42.84, a 2 percent fall.

Meanwhile, the US stock market rallied on the back of growing belief that the US is recovering from the financial crisis.

Chevron Corp profited as the Dow Jones posted its longest streak of gains since 2004. Stocks in Chevron, which operates Cambodia’s Block A oil concession, rose 2 percent in New York on Friday to close at $82.67. At one point Friday, stocks hit $82.77, a 52-week high.

Toyota Motor had yet another rough week after it paid a $16.4 million fine for breaking a law requiring automakers to notify regulators of safety defects. Its stocks closed at 3,570 yen (US$37.96) in Tokyo on Friday, down from a monthly high of 3,825 yen on April 5.

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