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Sector Snap: Iron and coal producers trade higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of iron and coal producers traded higher Monday following encouraging manufacturing data from China, one of the world's biggest consumers of iron ore and coal for steelmaking.

Late Sunday HSBC Corp. said manufacturing in China grew in December at its strongest rate in 18 months. The HSBC survey suggests China's economy is recovering from a downturn. Factory production and consumer spending grew, although demand for exports has been weak.

In afternoon trading shares of Peabody Energy Corp. rose $1.10, or 4.3 percent, to $26.46 and Alpha Natural Resources Inc. stock gained 45 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $9.72. Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. climbed $2.78, or 7.8 percent, to $38.36 and Consol Energy Inc. shares picked up 19 cents to $31.95. Arch Coal Inc. stock added 19 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $7.21.