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Wednesday's agenda - Rio Tinto and iron ore in focus as mining titan reports

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Midweek brings a trading statement from one of the world's biggest iron ore players Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).

Its the same month that it emerged commodity giant Glencore (LON:GLEN)  had proposed a merger with Rio in August this year, which had been swifty rebuffed.

Glencore revealed on October 7 it was no longer considering a possible Rio deal.

Reports this week now suggest Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg has approached other rivals, including US firm Cliffs Natural Resources, about the possibility of buying its Australian iron-ore operations.

Tomorrow's statement comes amid a torrid time for iron ore prices, which have seen a slump of around 40% this year.

City broker Investec said: "RIO releases its 3Q production numbers at 10:30pm tonight, London time. The production quarterlies tend to be rather vanilla volume data, confirming/updating full year production guidance, so our analyst does not expect anything significant."

Investec added that Rio  has said all it needs to over the last week about the contentious iron-ore ramp up program that it (and others) is pursuing

Iron Ore chief executive at the  firm Andrew Harding has said that RIO “curtailing production would simply create a void that would be filled by other producers and new starters”. 

"We cannot disagree, " said Investec.

Significant announcements expected: 

Companies: Interims: Vertu Motors (LON:VTU), Datatec (LON:DTC). Finals: Animalcare Group (LON:ANCR), Imperial Innovations (LON:IVO), Connect Group (LON:CNCT). Trading Statements: Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), Fresnillo (LON:FRES). 

The following widely held stocks will be trading in ex-dividend form: Wolseley, Close Brothers Group.

Economic: UK: Unemployment. Weekly earnings. US: MBA mortgage applications. Advance retail sales. Business inventories. US Federal Reserve beige book. 

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