Andrew Mackenzie, the Anglo-Australian company's chief executive, said the mining industry was in a “new era” and needed “a different dividend policy to handle that”.
BHP duly slashed its dividend by 74%.
A proposal that would have seen a Chinese tech company take a stake in an American one fell apart after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a government body, said it would open an investigation.
The $3.8 billion deal would have given Tsinghua Unigroup, which is linked to Tsinghua University in Beijing, a 15% holding in Western Digital, which is based in Irvine, California.
Sharp, a struggling Japanese electronics company, said it had agreed to a takeover from Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm that assembles the iPhone in China.
But Foxconn announced a delay to sealing the bid because Sharp had inserted new terms into their agreement.
Foxconn had bid for Sharp against a fund backed by the Japanese government.
Sysco, an American company that is the world's largest supplier of catering food, agreed to buy Brakes Group, a food-services firm in Britain with operations in other European countries, in a deal valued at $3.1 billion.
Brakes supplies food to pubs as well as hospitals, restaurants and schools.
The rhetoric intensified between the FBI and Apple over a legal order to get the company to unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in last December's terrorist attack in California.
A Department of Justice filing claimed that Apple's argument—that unlocking the phone would weaken its encryption protections—was a marketing ploy to strengthen its business model.
Tim Cook, Apple's boss, said that what the FBI was asking it to do was the “software equivalent of cancer”.
America's consumer-safety commission deemed that no brand of hoverboard (self-balancing scooters that don't actually hover) currently on the market is safe.
The agency said it had received 52 reports of fires caused by batteries overheating in hoverboards in the past few months, which in two cases caused homes to burn down.