Most Asia petchem stocks rise; China shares hit 13-month high

20 July 2009 11:48  [Source: ICIS news]

GUANGZHOU (ICIS news)--Most Asian petrochemical stocks were higher on Monday, tracking gains of regional bourses as investor sentiment turned more upbeat on the prospects of a recovery in the global economy.

China’s benchmark Shanghai composite index jumped 77.18 points, or 2.42%, to close at a 13-month high of 3,266.92 points. The gain was led by resources companies.

State-owned oil refiner Sinopec jumped 2.85%, while PetroChina advanced 2.74% in Shanghai.

South Korea’s petrochemical majors also advanced, with Hanwha Chemical surging 10.20%, SK Energy 0.41% higher and LG Chemical up 2.16%. The KOSPI composite index closed 2.67% higher at 1,478.51.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index also rose 0.55% to 9,395.32 points.

Last week, positive economic data out of China, the world’s third-largest economy, bolstered hopes of a global turnaround.

China’s GDP grew at an average of 7.1% in the first half of the year, with increasing expectations that it will do better in the second half given the strong fiscal stimulus measures undertaken by the government.

The positive economic data out of China have boosted investor confidence, according to Nankai University economist Wang Fang said.

China’s economy had a 7.9% growth rate in the second quarter, rebounding from the record low growth of 6.6% in the first three months of the year.

Pearl Bantillo contributed to this article

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