Asia petchem stocks fall as Wall street plunges

06 February 2008 02:59  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia petrochemical stocks fell on Wednesday morning, following a previous day plunge on Wall Street as investors saw the contraction of the US service sector as a sign that the world’s largest economy is sinking into recession.

In Japan, stocks of chemical majors Asahi Kasei Corp and Mitsui Chemical fell 3.9% and 5.2% respectively at 02:27 GMT as the Nikkei 225 index fell 4%.

Chinese state-owned petrochemical powerhouses PetroChina and Sinopec saw their share prices fall 7% and 5.5% respectively on the Hong Kong Exchange as the Hang Seng Index declined 5%.

Singapore’s SP Chemicals lost 0.7% as the Straits Times Index fell 3.4%.

Malaysian plastics producer Titan Chemical saw its stock decline slightly in mid-morning trade on the Bursa as the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) dipped 1.4%.

"The [Malaysian stock market] has been fairly resilient considering what happened in the US. But this could be because most people are not around due to the Chinese New Year. The local market is quiet," said Chris Eng, an analyst with OSK Securities.

Markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand are closed for holidays today, while Hong Kong and Singapore will shut after morning trading.

Dow Jones Industrials was down 2.93% on Tuesday, its biggest drop in almost a year after the Institute for Supply Management’s US non- manufacturing index fell in January below the 50 threshold of growth.

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index had its biggest 3.2% decline in almost a year.

By: Jeanne Lim
+65 6780 4359

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