Chems down as US Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 324 points

22 September 2011 16:18  [Source: ICIS news]

US chem stocks fallHOUSTON (ICIS)--North American chemical stocks fell sharply on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plummeted by nearly 324 points, continuing a rout that started on Wednesday.

The index fell by 2.91% to reach 10,801.15 at 10:56 New York time (14:56 GMT).

The Dow was the latest global exchange to drop sharply.

In Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 had slumped by 3.62%, Germany’s DAX was down by 3.82%, and the CAC 40 in France had fallen 3.84% at 08:52 GMT.

Asian petrochemical shares also dropped, with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index ending 2.07% down at closing. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng exchange fell by 4.85%, while the Seoul Composite Stock Price Index ended down 2.90%.

The US kicked off the rout on Wednesday in the final minutes of trading, with the DJIA dropping by nearly 284 points or 2.49%.

US stocks started declining after the Federal Reserve Board said there were "significant downside risks to the economic outlook".

The Fed made the assessment while it was announcing new measures designed to lower long-term US interest rates.

In Thursday's declines, chemical stocks were hit particularly hard, with the US Dow Jones Chemical Index falling by 5%.

Every stock followed by ICIS fell.

Among the losers, acetyls producer Celanese was the biggest, falling by nearly 9%.

Stocks down by more than 7% include adhesives producer HB Fuller, specialty chemicals firm Cytec Industries, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturer Georgia Gulf, specialty chemicals company Solutia and fertilizer producer Agrium. 

Biocides firm Arch Chemicals lost the least, falling by just 0.9%.  However, Arch's share price is being supported by an acquisition offer from Lonza, a Switzerland-based fine and specialty chemical producer.

Among the majors, DuPont and Dow Chemical were both down by 6%.

Fertilizer producer PotashCorp fell by 5%, and industrial gases giant Praxair was down by 4%.

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


By: Al Greenwood
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