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BP cuts dividend as losses swell on poor oil demand

BP

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BP has halved its dividend and reported a record $6.7bn quarterly loss after the coronavirus pandemic hit global demand for oil.

The dividend cut is a blow for UK pension funds, many of whom have large shareholdings in BP.

The loss was largely due to BP writing down the value of its assets after it cut its oil price forecasts.

The FTSE 100 company said the outlook for oil prices and demand “remains challenging and uncertain”.

It also warned that the pandemic could weigh on the global economy for a “sustained period”.

In the short-term, BP said it expected demand for oil could be up to nine million barrels per day lower compared to last year.

It has already announced it will cut 10,000 jobs, with as many as 2,000 set to be lost in the UK.

Oil prices have plunged after the coronavirus virtually shut down major economies.

In April, the price turned negative for the first time in history, meaning producers had to pay buyers to take oil off their hands over fear storage capacity could run out.

BP’s loss for the three months to June compares to a $2.8bn profit in the same period last year.

The oil giant said its dividend would halve to 5.25 cents a share, compared to 10.5 cents in the first quarter.

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