UpdateAsia petchem stocks fall after US plunge

06 February 2008 06:52  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds closing stock prices)

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia petrochemical stocks fell on Wednesday, 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, stock of chemical major Asahi Kasei Corp closed down 6.1% while Mitsui Chemical saw its share price recover slightly to close lower at 2.8% after falling as much as 5.2% in the morning.

Mitsubishi Chemical, however, saw recovered from morning losses to close up 0.27% higher as the Nikkei 225 index slumped 4.5% at close.

Chinese state-owned petrochemical powerhouses PetroChina and Sinopec saw their share prices end 8.8% and 8.4% lower respectively on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as the Hang Seng Index declined further to close down 5.4%.

Singapore’s SP Chemicals lost 0.7% as the Straits Times Index ended 3.5% lower.

Malaysian plastics producer Titan Chemical saw its stock decline slightly in mid-morning trade on the Bursa as the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) closed 1.3% lower.

"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, analyst with OSK Securities.

Markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand are closed for holidays today, while Hong Kong and Singapore were open only for morning trade.

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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