Why is the Whitehaven share price soaring 6% today?

The Whitehaven share price is smashing the benchmark returns today.

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A female coal miner wearing a white hardhat and orange high-vis vest holds a lump of coal and smiles as the Whitehaven Coal share price rises today

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The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price is soaring today, up 6.4% in afternoon trade.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) coal stock closed yesterday trading for $7.14. At the time of writing, shares are changing hands for $7.60 apiece.

That compares to a 0.2% gain posted by the ASX 200 at this same time.

So, what's driving investor interest today?

What's lifting the Whitehaven share price?

There's been no fresh price-sensitive news out from the big coal miner in recent days.

But it's worth noting that competing ASX coal stocks are charging higher today as well.

The New Hope Corp Ltd (ASX: NHC) share price, for example, is up 7.0%, while Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL) shares have lifted 4.8% so far in intraday trading.

The Whitehaven share price, and those of the other coal stocks, have been benefiting from a gradual rebound in coal prices since the end of June, with Newcastle coal futures back above US$142 a tonne.

Indeed, Whitehaven stock has gained 13% since the closing bell on 30 June. And shares are up 34% from the one-year lows notched on 31 May.

The escalating conflict in Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine also appears to be spooking energy markets. Ukraine has begun targeting Russian transport ships, threatening to cut off Russia's already sanctioned oil and coal exports.

With coal prices perhaps having found a bottom, the Whitehaven share price is benefiting today.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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