Most US chemical stocks soar alongside bank sector rally

10 March 2009 16:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Share prices for many US chemical companies soared on Tuesday as investors rushed to snap up bargains after banking giant Citigroup said it was having its best quarter since 2007.

The news triggered the biggest rally in three months on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which had plumbed 12-year lows this week amid the global economic gloom.

By 10:30 hours Houston time (15:30 GMT), the banking sector rally had led the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 272.40 points, or 4.2%, to 6819.45.

Georgia Gulf was the star performer among chemical issues, jumping 8 cents (€0.06), or 24%, to 42 cents.  The stock had peaked at $8.16 in April 2008 before going into a freefall in the second half of last year.

Huntsman gained 24 cents (9.8%) to $2.70, while Celanese was up 81 cents (9.8%) to $9.10 and DuPont was up $1.14 (7.1%) at $17.28.

Eastman Chemicalwhich announced further cost-cutting measures on Monday, was up $1.13 (6.0%) at $19.96.

Dow Chemical was a notable laggard in the sector rally, slipping 3 cents (0.4%) to $6.30. Dow reached a deal on Monday to complete its contentious merger with Rohm and Haas.

 ($1 = €0.79)

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By: Stephen Burns
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