HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shares fell sharply on Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 3.43%.
It was the second day this week that the index had fallen by more than 2%.
Markets are falling amid concerns that a rise in coronavirus cases will lead to lockdowns, slowing demand domestically in the US and internationally in Europe.
The table below shows the major indices followed by ICIS.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||26,521.07||-942.12||-3.43|
|Dow Jones US Chemicals Index||626.73||-19.54||-3.02|
|S&P 500 Chemicals Industry Index||636.37||-17.15||-2.62|
The declines in the stock market follow reports of rising hospitalisations and a record number of new cases in the US.
In the US, new cases reached 73,240 and deaths reached 985, according to Johns Hopkins University.
If cases and hospital visits continue rising, regulators may bring back restrictions and lockdowns that could cause demand for petrochemicals to fall.
Germany's federal and state governments are already adopting such measures because infections keep doubling every 10 days. France is expected to announce similar restrictions.
Short-term restrictions have already been adopted by Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Slovenia.
The worries about new restrictions caused oil markets to decrease prices, as shown in the following table.
Falling oil prices hurt petrochemical producers in the US because they rely overwhelmingly on gas-based feedstocks such as ethane. Much of the world relies on oil-based naphtha.
As a result, lower oil prices diminish the cost advantage of US-based petrochemical plants.
The table below shows the US-listed shares followed by ICIS.
|$ Change||% Change|
|Axalta Coating Systems||24.84||-0.58||-2.28|
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