U.S. Coal Miners Rise After Chesapeake Cuts Gas Production

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and Patriot Coal Corp. were among U.S. miners of the fuel that rose after Chesapeake Energy Corp., the country’s second-largest natural-gas producer, said it would cut production.

Alpha gained 4.3 percent to $20.76 in New York. Patriot jumped 7.3 percent and James River Coal Co. climbed 7.1 percent.

Investors see rising gas prices boosting sales of coal burned by utility companies to generate electricity, said Lucas Pipes, an analyst at Brean Murray Carret & Co. in New York.

“Thermal coal comparatively looks a little better today,” Pipes said in a telephone interview. Investors are betting “the worst might be over” for coal producers, he said.

Natural-gas futures climbed as much as 10 percent after Chesapeake said today it will “immediately curtail” 500 million cubic feet a day of output and reduce planned investments in gas fields by 70 percent from 2011 levels.

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