Shares of major Asian petchem firms fall on negative China data

03 January 2014 07:40  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of most major petrochemical firms in Asia slumped on Friday, tracking sharp declines in regional bourses, after recent manufacturing gauges showed that China’s economy is losing its momentum.

China’s manufacturing growth slowed in December, with the official purchasing managers’ index slipping to 51.0 from November’s 51.4. A PMI reading above 50.0 indicates an expansion, while a reading below 50.0 means a contraction.

The official reading in December marked the 15th consecutive month of growth but it is the first time the PMI has dipped from the previous month since June last year.

Investment bank HSBC’s final reading of its PMI for China, meanwhile, slipped to 50.5 in December from 50.8 in November, as new orders rose at a slower pace.

By 15:13 Singapore time (07:13 GMT), South Korea’s LG Chem was down 2.05%, SK Innovation was 1.07% lower and Lotte Chemical Corp fell by 1.56%. The Korea Stock Exchange KOSPI Index was 1.07% at 1,946.14.

Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical bucked the trend, increasing by 0.39% and 1.25%, respectively, while JX Holdings was up by 3.24%. The benchmark Nikkei 225 was up by 0.69% at 16,291.31.

In Hong Kong, China’s state-controlled PetroChina and Sinopec fell by 2.84% and 3.03%, respectively, tracking the dip in the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, which was 2.13% lower at 22,842.56.

Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical was 3.24% lower and Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group fell by 1.16%.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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