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Glencore cuts debt on asset sales, says trading is strong

Glencore shares jumped over 7 percent on Wednesday after the commodity trading and mining giant said it was on track to reduce its debt and boost liquidity thanks to asset sales, and planned to deepen copper output cuts to help lift prices.

Swiss-based Glencore has pledged to cut its net debt to $20 billion from $30 billion by the end of 2016 to regain the trust of investors after its shares tumbled to record lows this year.

Gianluca Colla | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As part of the debt-reduction plan, Glencore has said it would sell assets, reduce capital expenditure, suspend dividend payments and raise $2.5 billion of new equity capital, with the share sale completed in September.

On Wednesday, Glencore said it would save $2.4 billion from the suspension of a final dividend this year and an interim dividend in 2016.

The group said on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell future silver output from its stake in the Antamina copper mine in Peru to Silver Wheaton Minerals for $900 million in cash in a "streaming deal".

It said an additional streaming transaction was in progress and it had commenced processes to sale a minority stake in its agriculture business as well as its Lomas Bayas copper operation in Chile and its Cobar copper mine in Australia.

The company also said its trading division, or what the company calls marketing, performed better over the third quarter, allowing it to maintain its full-year target of $2.5-$2.6 billion in adjusted earnings for the division.

Glencore has cut production of copper, coal and zinc to shore up commodity prices. The miner cut 500,000 tonnes of zinc production last month and in September it suspended some copper production at its African operations, removing 400,000 tonnes of cathode from the market.

On Wednesday it said it now expects to cut 455,000 tonnes of copper output by the end of 2017.