News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: China offers no coal comfort; Default risk following commodities rout; and New Zealand moves to ban seafloor mining.

Noel Dyson

Coal comfort

China has taken a lead on global climate change – much to the delight of other nations, the Financial Times reports.

Of course, coal miners would like to remember the times when China led the world in coal demand growth. Oh well.

In the past year there have been several examples of Beijing’s brand of climate detente, the paper writes.

The first came in 2014 when China set itself the target of stemming any rise in carbon emissions beyond 2030.

Last week, the FT reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping went further, committing $US3.1 billion to help low-income countries. He also committed China to launching a national carbon market by 2017.

Default fears

The commodity price crunch fuelled by China’s economic slowdown is taking a toll on the bond market, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bonds from debt laden companies in metals, mining and steel industries are driving up distress ratios, a sign a wave of defaults could be on the horizon.

Some miners though, have taken advantage of the situation.

The paper quotes a Cliffs Natural Resources spokeswoman saying the company had been buying back its debt as prices fell, reducing its debt levels.

“Rather than disagreeing with the market, we have used it to our advantage,” she said.

Seafloor mining ban

New Zealand wants to create a giant South Pacific sanctuary banning fishing and mining, Reuters reports.

Called the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, it will cover 620, of ocean north of NZ. It covers a string of volcanoes and is home to endangered marine life, including whales, dolphins and turtles.