Asia petrochemical shares higher on economic stimulus hopes

Author: Pearl Bantillo


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia were mostly trading higher on Monday, in line with soft gains in regional bourses, as investors look forward to stimulus measures following release of more downbeat economic data.

(Source: Photo by Xinhua/Shutterstock)

At 01:52 Singapore time (05:52 GMT), Asahi Kasei inched up  0.54%, Idemitsu Kosan rose 0.14% and Sumitomo Chemical up 0.21%, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 up 0.50% at 21,300.32.

In South Korea, Hanwha Chemical gained 2.25%, as the KOSPI composite index increased 0.48% at 2,018.81.

In China, the China Petroleum and Chemical Corp increased 1.29%, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange composite index gained 0.60% to 3,017.46.

China’s central bank on 6 September announced a 50-basis point cut in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) effective 16 September, with further reductions due on 15 October and 15 November.

The RRR cuts are expected to release some yuan (CNY) 900bn in liquidity into the financial system.

The announcement by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) came a day after China’s State Council indicated such measures to boost the domestic economy.

Manufacturing activity in the world’s second-biggest economy has remained in contraction mode for four consecutive months, as exports continued to pummel amid the raging US-China trade war.

China’s exports in August declined 1% year on year, reversing the 3.3% increase posted in July, as shipments to the US declined 16%.

Japan, which is the third biggest economy in the world, shaved its second-quarter GDP growth to 1.3% from the initial estimate of 1.8%.

The Bank of Japan will hold its next monetary policy meeting on 18-19 September.

Focus article by Pearl Bantillo

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