Asian petchem shares fall on virus worries, oil prices higher

Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian petrochemical shares fell on Thursday amid fresh fears about a second wave of coronavirus infections while oil prices were higher after US crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell.

At 03:55 GMT, Mitsubishi Chemical was down by more than 2% in Tokyo, LG Chem fell close t0 2% in Seoul and Formosa Petrochemical Corp dropped more than 1% in Taipei.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.64%, South Korea’s KOSPI Index was 1.09% lower and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down by 1.50%.

Company/Exchange % Change
Nikkei 225 -0.64%
Asahi Kasei Corporation -1.97%
JXTG Holdings, Inc. -1.14%
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation -2.35%
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. -0.48%
Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited -4.33%
PetroChina Company Limited -2.27%
KOSPI Composite Index -1.09%
OCI Company Ltd -1.19%
SK Innovation Co., Ltd. -1.68%
LG Chem, Ltd. -1.99%
Lotte Chemical Corporation -1.60%
Hanwha Corporation -1.83%
TSEC weighted index -0.93%
Formosa Petrochemical Corporation -1.37%
Nan Ya Plastics Corporation -1.72%
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation -1.76%
STI Index -1.49%
Wilmar International Limited -3.26%
Olam International Limited -1.95%
FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI -0.37%
SSE Composite Index -0.64%
Jakarta Composite Index -0.18%
PT. Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk -3.93%

US-listed shares of chemical companies fell on Wednesday while European stocks continued their downward trend amid lingering worries about the global economy.

Downbeat remarks from US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell sent the major US equity indexes sharply lower.

Powell warned that the US’ economic outlook is “both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks” and also rejected the idea of using negative interest rates as a stimulative tool.

“Risk sentiment has turned lower in recent days and investors are likely to remain cautious as they monitor the reopening of the economy,” Singapore’s OCBC Bank said in a note.

Asian stock markets tracked the weakness on Wall Street amid lingering concerns over a second wave of new coronavirus infections in countries which have eased lockdown restrictions weighing on investor sentiment.

Indonesia reported its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with almost 700 cases reported. The spike in infections brings the country’s total to over 15,000.

The global number of coronavirus infections are now at 4.18m, with 287,525 reported deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update on 13 May.

$/bbl (At 03:25 GMT) Last price % change Net change Close High Low
Brent July 29.29 0.34% 0.1 29.19 29.52 28.88
US WTI June 25.48 0.75% 0.19 25.29 25.91 25.18

Crude prices rose after an unexpected draw in US crude inventories, its first decline in four months as states gradually reopened their economies.

The US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday said that crude stockpiles fell by 745,000 barrels in the week ending 8 May.

OPEC in its monthly crude market report on Wednesday slashed its projections for global demand growth this year y 2.23m bbl/day, bringing the total fall in demand growth to 9.07m bbl/day.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is due to publish its monthly crude oil report later on Thursday.

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman

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


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