Asia petrochemical shares fall on possible eurozone downgrade

13 December 2011 07:46  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia tumbled on Tuesday on heightened concerns about weakening global demand, with the eurozone facing a credit ratings downgrade in the absence of a clear-cut plan to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

Asian bourses on Tuesday were tracking the decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which shed 1.34% to 12,021.39 points overnight.

“US stocks fell overnight after rating agencies said last week’s summit achieved little to move ahead in fighting the debt crisis,” DBS Bank Research said in a note.

Among Japan’s petrochemical majors, Mitsubishi Chemical slipped 1.95%, Mitsui Chemicals was down by 2.71% and JX Holdings fell by 1.24%, at 07:27 GMT.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 101.01 points or 1.17% to 8,552.81.

In South Korea, LG Chem was down by 0.16%, Hanwha Chemical fell by 2.91%, Honam Petrochemical tumbled 3.40% and SK Innovation shed 4.44%, as the KOSPI composite index declined 35.70 points or 1.88% to 1,864.06.

In Hong Kong, PetroChina slid 1.37% as the Hang Seng index dipped 127.06 points or 0.70% to 18,444.72.

Pressures on petrochemical product prices in the region partly stem from an influx of deep-sea cargoes amid a weakening demand in the eurozone and the US.

“Fiscal discipline will mean more pain first, even [a] recession, for the eurozone,” DBS Bank Research said.

Asia’s export-oriented economies are expected to be adversely affected if the US and the eurozone suffer from a protracted economic downturn.

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

By: Pearl Bantillo
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