US chem shares fall despite rise in oil, stock markets

Author: Al Greenwood

2020/05/04

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Most US-listed shares of chemical companies fell on Monday even though the general stock market and oil futures rose.

The table below shows the major indices followed by ICIS.

4-May Change %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 23,749.76 26.07 0.11
S&P 500 2,842.74 12.03 0.43
Dow Jones US Chemicals Index 519.55 0.37 0.071
S&P 500 Chemicals Industry Index 524.89 0.63 0.12

The table below shows oil prices.

4-May 1-May %
Brent 27.2 26.44 2.87
WTI 20.39 19.78 3.08

The rallies in both oil and stock markets contrasted against declines in most of the US-listed shares followed by ICIS, as shown below.

$ Current

Price

$ Change % Change
AdvanSix 11.50 -0.77 -6.28
Axalta Coating Systems 19.14 0.27 1.40
Braskem 7.69 -0.09 -1.09
Celanese 77.71 -1.60 -2.02
Dow 33.07 -0.87 -2.55
DuPont 44.62 -0.46 -1.01
Eastman 60.57 0.55 0.92
HB Fuller 34.72 -0.85 -2.39
Huntsman 15.18 -0.83 -5.16
Ingevity 47.65 -0.23 -0.48
Kraton 14.43 0.53 3.81
Kronos Worldwide 8.94 -0.28 -2.99
LyondellBasell 54.35 -0.81 -1.47
Methanex 14.45 -0.94 -6.08
NewMarket 413.49 2.97 0.72
Olin 11.97 -0.29 -2.33
PolyOne 21.99 -0.27 -1.21
PPG 86.88 -1.12 -1.27
RPM International 64.82 0.74 1.15
Sherwin-Williams 528.79 2.35 0.45
Stepan 91.11 -2.57 -2.74
Chemours 10.92 -0.02 -0.14
Trinseo 18.05 -0.83 -4.40
Tronox 6.36 -0.10 -1.55
Univar 13.49 0.03 0.19
Venator Materials 1.20 -0.02 -1.64
Westlake Chemical 41.46 1.08 2.66

Westlake shares were among the biggest winners. The polyolefins and vinyls producer had earlier reported a rise in Q1 earnings because of tax benefits.

In US chemical markets, May contracts for cyclohexane (CX) fell after prices for feedstock benzene reached a 19-year low.

In Europe, chemicals stocks declines.

Cracker margins fell in line with monomer settlements at significant decreases, coupled with feedstock prices edging up.

The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the eurozone falling to 33.4 points due to lockdown measures, with Spain and Italy particularly affected.

A reading below 50.0 points shows contraction.

In Asia, petrochemical shares and oil prices fell on renewed trade tensions between the US and China, with poor April manufacturing data across the region also weighing on investor sentiment.

US White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow late on Sunday said the China would be “held accountable” for the coronavirus outbreak.

Kudlow's comments came a day after Trump said he suspected the virus came from a laboratory in the Chinese central city of Wuhan without offering any evidence and hinted at imposing further tariffs on China.

"US President Donald Trump is said to be exploring blocking a government retirement fund from investing in Chinese equities seen as a national security risk and is also considering new tariffs on China as reparations for the coronavirus pandemic," Singapore-based UOB Global Economics & Markets Research said.

Additional reporting by Morgan Condon and Nurluqman Suratman

Visit the ICIS coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.