20 December 2011 21:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American chemical stocks rose sharply on Tuesday after reports of an increase in November US housing starts and an improvement of business confidence in Germany.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,103.43, up 337.32 or 2.87%.
Chemical stocks performed better than the average, with the Dow Jones US Chemicals Index rising 4%.
No stock followed by ICIS fell. US specialty chemicals producer rose by the most, nearly 15%. Companies rising by more than 7% included US specialty chemicals producer Solutia, US butadiene (BD) producer TPC Group, US acetyls producer Eastman Chemical and US metal-chemicals producer Quaker Chemical.
Fertilizer producer Mosaic was flat, making it the worst performer among the ICIS stocks.
Among the majors, DuPont rose by 4% and Dow Chemical rose by nearly 5%.
US industrial gases producer Praxair rose by 2% and Canadian fertilizer producer PotashCorp rose by 4%.
The gains followed statistics showing that US housing starts rose by 9.3% month on month, reaching their highest level since April 2010.
In addition, Germany's business confidence improved in December after stabilising in November.
Additional reporting by Bobbie Clark and Stefan Baumgarten.
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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