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A geographic disconnect

There is an interesting disconnect between how players in one geography view conditions in another, and how local players see their own market dynamics. For example, major European chemical companies have a rather optimistic outlook on growth in China and Asia, pinning their hopes on the region to drive earnings growth in 2013 and beyond. […]

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Risk to Q4 chemical earnings estimates

Do third quarter earnings really matter? As we move into the thick of the earnings season, all eyes will be on how the fourth quarter is shaping up and how analysts will handicap fourth-quarter 2011 and full-year 2012 projections. Leading up to results, pre-announcement warnings have been scarce in the chemical group, boding well for […]

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Volatility and reversal

The global economic recovery since we climbed out of the depths of the financial and economic crisis since 2009 has been described by many as a V-shaped recovery, refleting the strong rebound off the lows. But this recovery has also been characterized by volatility – volatility in crude oil prices, metals prices, commodity prices, and […]

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Fear not the QE2 backlash

Nothing lasts forever. You never know what’s going to derail a fantastic bull run – at least temporarily. After unimpeded optimism over several months fueled by the continuing global economic recovery, some serious concerns are coming out of the woodwork. Expectations for an interest rate hike in China to tame growing inflation threw cold water […]

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Chemical earnings engine roars

As they say in US NASCAR racing – gentlemen, start your engines! After a blip down in world stock markets on Tuesday, October 19, sparked by China’s quarter-point hike of a key interest rate as well as continuing fears in the US about the consequences of an ongoing investigation into improper foreclosures, bourses were back in the […]

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Easing into a recovery – crank up the printing press!

QE2 has arrived in the US! – not the famed cruise ship, but the second round of quantiative easing by the US Federal Reserve. The pace of economic recovery in the US has been painfully slow, and momentum is waning with persistent high unemployment, weak housing and construction markets and tight credit availability. And abroad, […]

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Look for signs of a double-dip recession on chemical company Q2 conference calls

As we come upon the second quarter earnings season, the focus will be less on the results themselves, and more on what chemical companies are seeing and expecting at this critical juncture. Fears of a double-dip global recession abound, driven by the European debt crisis and the resulting austerity measures by governments to balance their […]

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Painted with the same oily brush

The BP oil spill in the US Gulf will have major implications for the US chemical market. Yes, the chemical industry is not the oil industry, but they are inextricably linked – not just in terms of feedstocks, but also how they are perceived in the minds of the general public. The direct impact of […]

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Asia’s century will be a volatile one

Despite the recent extreme volatility in global financial markets, Asia’s prospects for long-term economic growth remain rock solid. No doubt there will be bumps along the way – and some of them big ones. The Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 put the brakes on growth in the region and the impact reverberated around the globe. […]

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Asia leads the Lazy-V recovery

DOW CHEMICAL CEO and Australia native Andrew Liveris coined the term Lazy-V in describing the global economic recovery on the US-based company’s fourth quarter earnings conference call. Now we’ve all heard of a V-shaped recovery, but what’s a Lazy-V? “Aussie for moderate growth,” or slow, steady progress, translates BB&T Capital Markets analyst Frank Mitsch. Looking […]

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