13 June 2013 05:57 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of major Asian petrochemical firms were mostly lower in early trade on Thursday, tracking the slump in regional bourses, after the World Bank cuts its global growth forecasts.
By 12:27 hours Singapore time (04:27 GMT), Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals was down by 3.25%, Mitsubishi Chemical fell by 4.44% and Asahi Kasei Corp slipped b 3.98%. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 4.65% at 12,671.31.
In South Korea, SK Innovation was down by 1.06% while Hanwha Corp fell by 0.97% . LG Chem bucked the trend with a 0.58% increase. The Korea Stock Exchange KOSPI Index was down by 0.75% at 1,895.64.
Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group wad down by 0.15% while Thai producer PTT Global Chemical fell by 4.06%.
The World Bank on 12 June said that it expects global GDP to expand by 2.2% in 2013, down from a January forecast of a 2.4% growth. The world economy grew by 2.3% in 2012.
“Hard data so far this year point to a global economy that is slowly getting back on its feet,” it said in a statement.
“However, the recovery remains hesitant and uneven,” it said.
Growth in developing economies “will remain solid, albeit slower than the frenetic growth rates seen during the pre-crisis boom period, as developing countries grapple with home-grown challenges brought on by capacity constraints in many middle income countries”, the World Bank added.
The global lender cut China’s growth forecast to 7.7% from 8.4%, while the east Asia and Pacific region as a whole is expected to grow by 7.3% this year.
The weakness in 2013 partly reflects the weak growth in China, which is expected to strengthen to 8.0% and 7.9% in 2014 and 2015 respectively, it said.
“Risks to the region include those surrounding the gradual reduction in Chinese investment, Japanese quantitative easing, rapidly expanding credit, and rising asset prices,” the World Bank added.
For high-income countries, fiscal consolidation, high unemployment and still weak consumer and business confidence will keep growth this year to an estimated 1.2%, before growing to 2.0% in 2014 and 2.3% by 2015.
Economic contraction in the eurozone is projected at 0.6% this year, compared with the previous projection of 0.1%.
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