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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Diamond Downturn

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Shares in South African diamond giant De Beers lost up to 3 percent Wednesday after the market reacted with disappointment to first-half results.

De Beers posted a 30.6 percent drop in combined headline earnings in the six months ending June 30 to $281 million.

But De Beers remained upbeat over prospects for the diamond market for the remainder of the year, pointing to a sooner-than-expected recovery in Asian demand and persistently strong demand from the key U.S. market.

The outlook for rough diamond sales also remained positive with the millennium boosting the retail jewelry market by more than $100 million this year.