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BHP Billiton sees weakness in commodities demand

MELBOURNE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Top global miner BHP Billiton BHP.AXBLT.L, which scrapped a bid for rival Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX, expects a 17 percent fall in Chinese steel production, BHP told a shareholders meeting on Thursday.

BHP also forecast continued weakness in commodities and said it would respond it any of its operations were to lose cash.

BHP declared the bid officially had lapsed on Thursday, after the European Commission closed its investigation on the deal, first proposed a year ago.

BHP blamed risk around asset sales and taking on Rio’s debt in ditching its hostile bid, after saying just a month ago that putting the two companies together made more sense than ever in the tough economic environment. (Reporting by Sonali Paul)

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