Boom/Gloom Index rally continues

Index Jul09.jpg

Last month, the blog introduced its new Boom/Gloom Index, designed to track sentiment in financial markets. The chart above now updates it to reflect the whole of June.

The Index has continued to move up, and is close to the levels last seen in October 2007. Equally remarkable is the performance of the Green Shoots Index, which has hit another all-time high. There is little doubt that the performance of the two indices is related. Investors clearly want to believe that recovery is ‘just around the corner’, even though there is little hard evidence to support this belief.

Chemical companies have done well in exploiting this improved sentiment. Dow managed to raise nearly $10bn to repair its balance sheet, via asset sales and equity/debt issues. Ineos are well on the way to agreeing new covenants with their lenders. Neither looked easy to achieve before the market began its March rally.

Now, of course, comes the hard part. Will the current restocking process turn into a real recovery? The blog maintains its doubts, and fears the green shoots may wither to become yellow weeds.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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