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Global stock markets slide as demand disappoints

Chemical companies, Consumer demand, Currencies, Economic growth, Futures trading
By Paul Hodges on 06-Jun-2011

Stocks Jun11.pngIt is now 5 weeks since the IeC Downturn Alert was launched. The chart above therefore updates the blog’s regular review of financial markets, showing how these have moved over the same period.

Most are down around 4%-5%. Russia is the worst performer (down 8%) and Brazil the best (down 3%). But government bond prices (light green column) have risen in the major countries, causing yields to fall, as investors focus on ‘return of capital’, rather than ‘return on capital’.

Petchem markets were relatively quiet over the week, with public holidays in the US/UK, and China’s Dragon Boat holiday today. ICIS reporters noted, however, that sentiment continued to weaken.

Europe. PE, “stocks in Asia and Europe are widely agreed to be at high levels”. Olefins, “more risk of a downside than seen previously”.
China. PTA, “persistently weak export of polyester products”;
India. Polymers, “demand in the local PE and PP downstream sector is still looking bad”.
USA. PVC, “global demand has weakened”. PE, “traders saying now is not the right time to be purchasing cargo from US suppliers, given the low cost of material from Asia and the Middle East”.

The blog will look in more detail at developments in China tomorrow, and in oil markets on Wednesday.