Chems fall as US Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 253 points

02 September 2011 21:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Stocks of North American chemical companies fell on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by more than 253 points, following a disappointing US jobs report.

The index fell to 11,240.26 at the close of the market, down 2.2%.

The plunge followed a report released by the US Department of Labor, which showed companies did not add jobs in August, leaving unemployment unchanged from the month prior. The unemployment rate held at 9.1%.

Many stocks for North American chemical companies performed even worse than the Dow.

The Dow Jones US Chemicals Index fell about 2.5% on Friday, closing at 318.41.

Specialty chemicals producer Ferro and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer Georgia Gulf fell by nearly 8% on Friday, while compounder PolyOne fell by over 6%.

Other losers for the day included LyondellBasell, Spartech, Quaker Chemical, TPC Group, Celanese and HB Fuller, all of which fell by over 5%.

Among the majors, Dow Chemical dropped by 3%, and DuPont fell 2%.

Industrial gases producer Praxair was off by 1%, and fertilizer producer PotashCorp was down slightly at 0.2%.

Only a few chemical companies ended the day in positive territory.

Among them was Canada-based agribusiness firm Agrium, which posted a nominal gain of less than 1%.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said the jobs report was a sign that the US economy was stalling.

“All eyes were on today’s employment report, and it was a disappointment, falling well below expectations as employers were less confident about the recovery,” the ACC said in its weekly economic report.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Bobbie Clark
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