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Glencore jumps to 15-month high as coal prices extend surge

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Glencore jumped to a 15-month high in London as coal prices rose and a Japanese steelmaker was said to agree to pay the most for coking coal in four years.

[LONDON] Glencore jumped to a 15-month high in London as coal prices rose and a Japanese steelmaker was said to agree to pay the most for coking coal in four years.

Glencore advanced 6.4 per cent to close at 236.2 pence, the highest since July 21, 2015. The shares rose the most in the FTSE 100 Index. Prices have more than doubled this year, rebounding from a record low of 68.62 pence reached a year ago.

The company, which is cutting its US$26 billion debt load, has benefited from this year's surge in coal, said Kieron Hodgson, a London-based mining analyst at Panmure Gordon & Co.

Glencore, the world's top exporter of power-station coal, said this week it plans to reopen a coal mine in Australia.

The price of thermal coal from Australia's Newcastle port, a benchmark for Asia, has risen 62 per cent this year and is trading near its highest since January 2014.

Glencore said yesterday it was planning to restart its Collinsville mine in Australia because of higher demand for the product in Southeast Asia.

Glencore also produces coking coal on a smaller scale. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp agreed to pay Peabody Energy Corp US$200 a metric ton during the fourth quarter, said people with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified as the information isn't public.

It's the highest contracted price since 2012 and compares with US$92.50 in the third quarter. The settlement typically sets the benchmark for the region.

A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment.

BLOOMBERG