Australia eased up carbon restrictions. Will new, lax regulations in Oz send US coal prices down (under)?
The Australian government repealed a law on Thursday that heavily taxed large companies for their carbon emissions.
Critics of the reversal are saying that this makes Australia the first nation to backtrack on carbon legislation, which is bad news for the environment considering Australia has long been one of the world’s top emitters of atmospheric carbon dioxide per capita.
Surprisingly, this comes at a time when the United States has started to put greater pressure on coal producers to pollute less. The EPA proposed a new plan in June that would limit carbon emissions from power plants by 30%.
In order to comply, power plants would likely have to trim usage of their dirtiest fossil fuel: coal. As we argued in June, big American coal companies like Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU), Arch Coal Inc (ACI), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) could all take a hit.
In both countries burning coal is responsible for a very high proportion of carbon emissions. With both nations changing relevant carbon legislation at the same time, you could see a pretty big disruption take place around their respective coal industries—and positive momentum around Australian coal stocks.
With reduced carbon restrictions, Australian companies have fewer incentives to shy away from burning coal, and the opposite is now true in the US. This means that in coming months, Australian coal companies could have a strong competitive advantage.
With that in mind, we took a look at the top Australian coal mining and processing companies trading on US exchanges and screened to see which were rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day simple moving averages (SMA).
This indicates strong upward momentum for the stock. Do you think the good days will continue for Australian miners? Use the list below to begin your analysis.
Click on the interactive chart to view data over time.
SMA 20: 2.88%
SMA 50: 3.96%
SMA 200: 6.52%
SMA 20: 2.21%
SMA 50: 3.89%
SMA 200: 5.77%
(List compiled by Ben Levine. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research, all other data sourced from Finviz.)
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