Shares of major petchem firms in Asia fall on global growth concerns

11 April 2012 06:37  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of most major petrochemical firms in Asia were lower on Wednesday, tracking regional bourses which have fallen for a third straight session, as lingering concerns over global economic growth prospects triggered a sell-off.

European stocks closed lower on Tuesday as Spanish bond yields touched a new high for 2012, raising fears over the country’s ability to repay its debt and renewing concerns that the region’s debt crisis may still spread to bigger economies in the eurozone, according to media reports.

Global stocks have also been pressured by a weak US jobs data report issued late last week, while lower-than-expected import data from China on Tuesday raised concerns about slowing Chinese domestic demand, which dampened investor sentiment.

At 10:30 Singapore time (02:30 GMT), Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals fell by 2.53%, Asahi Kasei Corp was 1.42% lower and Tosoh Corp was down by 1.84% as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 92.92 points, or 0.97%, to 9445.10.

In Shanghai, PetroChina was down 0.52% while Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical was 0.85% lower. China’s CSI 300 index was down by 0.32%, or 8.08 points, to 20080.40.

Financial markets in South Korea are closed on Wednesday for the nation-wide parliamentary elections.

In southeast Asia, Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical was down 1.49% while Singapore-listed palm oil major Wilmar slipped by 0.41%.

Investors will now eye fresh data from China due this Friday for further cues on the state of the country’s economy, with industrial production, fixed asset investment, GDP and retail sales data all likely to moderate, Singapore-based UOB Economic-Treasury Research said.

China’s industrial production will likely ease to 11.3% year on year in March, from 11.4% in February while its GDP could show a slower rate of growth of 8.4%, it said.

The country’s economy grew by 9.2% year on year in 2011 from a year earlier and 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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