HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-listed shares of chemical companies rose for the third day in a row on Thursday as the nation continues to make progress towards passing a $2tr stimulus package.
The package is meant to offset the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The table below shows the major indices followed by ICIS.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||22,552.17||1,351.62||6.38|
|Dow Jones US Chemicals Index||475.00||22.40||4.95|
|S&P 500 Chemicals Industry Index||479.42||21.65||4.73|
CNBC reported that the markets completed their largest three-day surge since 1931.
The rise came despite a huge increase in US jobless claims and oil prices remaining at exceptionally low levels.
Brent futures fell to $26.34/bbl from $27.39/bbl, following reports that the US Department of Energy had withdrawn a tender to buy domestic crude for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
US jobless claims reached 3.28m last week, up 3m from the previous week, according to the US Department of Labor.
The claims rose as many parts of the US adopted restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease.
Despite these efforts, the coronavirus continues to spread in the US and the rest of the world.
The following shows the US cases.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The following shows global cases.
Source: World Health Organization
The disruptions caused by the disease are leading to dire forecasts for the global economy.
FocusEconomics, a forecasting firm, conduced a survey in which economists predicted a global recession in the next 12 months. The majority expect the effects of the disease will extend into 2021.
The subsequent recovery will be a slower U-shaped one versus a faster V-shaped, FocusEconomics said. The panellists said the fiscal and monetary measures being adopted so far are insufficient to prevent lasting economic damage from the disease.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also expects global output to contract.
In Mexico, the private sector is calling on federal intervention to counteract the impact on Mexico’s already-fragile economy.
In Brazil, state energy producer Petrobras has lowered operating rates at its refineries because of weak demand for fuel.
To prevent the spread of the disease, Petrobras is postponing maintenance shutdowns at its refineries.
In Europe, stock markets rose for the third day in a row.
The Bank of England (BoE) announced it would keep interest rates at record-low levels of 0.1% to ease the strain of the coronavirus on liquidity in the UK economy.
In Asia, petrochemical share prices ended mixed.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on 25 March announced an extension to the existing movement control order (MCO) to 14 April this year.
Muhyiddin also said that the announcement for an economic stimulus package has been brought forward to 27 March instead of 30 March.
The following shows the US-listed stocks followed by ICIS.
|$ Change||% Change|
|Axalta Coating Systems||17.45||0.93||5.60|
Additional reporting by Morgan Condon and Nurluqman Suratman, Emily Pickrell and Tom Brown
Visit the ICIS coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.
Thumbnail image by Michael Probst/AP/Shutterstock