(ii) China's benchmark thermal coal prices extended its losing streak and slid 3.7 percent to 676 yuan ($110) a tonne.
Chinese coal prices have dropped 111 yuan since the start of May as the flood of cheaper overseas supplies has pressured the domestic market.
"Stocks at ports and power plants have begun to fall slightly, so some utilities are now ready to buy and that has brought traders back into the market," said a Shanghai-based source.
"But that doesn't mean things are looking all rosy. Utilities still have fairly fat stocks so it's not like they'd be eager to buy whatever comes along."
Coal stocks at Qinhuangdao Port slipped to 8.87 million tonnes as of July 2, down slightly from 8.93 a week ago, according to data from the port.
($1 = 6.3477 Chinese yuan).
(i) The Wall Street Journal
(ii) The Reuters