Why is Whitehaven share price having such a stellar session today?

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The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX:WHC) The stock price stretches higher in Monday afternoon trading.

At the time of writing, Whitehaven is trading up 6.78% at $8.51 with no news.

In large market movements, the S&P/ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index (ASX:XMM) is up around 1.6% on the day.

What’s going on with the Whitehaven share price?

ASX coal miners grabbed a bid today as the price of coal rallies back above 52-week highs of US$435/tonne.

Coal itself has seen a frenzy of buying activity over the past two days. This comes as Russian authorities have cut off flows from the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe.

For context, flows have already been reduced to around 20% earlier in the year. This coincided with a surge in gas futures in Europe.

The reason for the shutdown cited is a “technical failure”, however, there is no say in when streams should resume.

The moves saw traders selling European and UK gas futures today. Current month contracts for each are down 11% and 15%, respectively. See the returns for each this year below.

TradingView Chart

Amid the news, ASX coal miners caught the eye today, alongside the price of black rock, coal consumption forecasts point to an increase this year.

“The International Energy Agency sees coal consumption in Europe increasing by 7% in 2022, on top of last year’s 14% rise,” reports Trading Economics.

Europe is now looking to various countries – including Australia – to reduce its imports from Russia, he added.

Meanwhile, “[d]Coal demand in India, the world’s second largest coal importer behind China, is expected to increase by almost 10% in 2022,” the research firm said.

With these catalysts below the price of coal, stocks of various companies exposed to the commodity are in focus, as evidenced by today’s performance.

Meanwhile, Whitehaven’s share price is up around 200% in the past 12 months after a 226% gain year-to-date.

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