Asia petrochemical shares, oil prices fall amid surging COVID-19 cases

Author: Nurluqman Suratman

2021/07/19

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia slumped on Monday on growing worries over surging cases of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, with oil prices falling by more than $1/bbl after OPEC and its allies agreed to increase supply.

At 10:30 Singapore time (02:30 GMT), Mitsui Chemicals was down by 1.94% in Tokyo, LG Chem slipped by 0.97% in Seoul and Nan Ya Plastics was down by 2.02% in Taipei.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down by 1.53%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped by 2.07%, South Korea's KOSPI Index fell by 1.17% and Singapore's STI Index was 1.05% lower.

ICE Brent crude was trading at $72.49/bbl, down by $1.1/bbl from the previous session, while US WTI crude was down $1.03/bbl at $70.78/bbl.

Company/Stock Exchange (At 02:50 GMT) % Change
Nikkei 225 (Japan) -1.53%
Asahi Kasei Corp -1.47%
JXTG Holdings, Inc -1.24%
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp -0.33%
Mitsui Chemicals -1.94%
Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong) -2.07%
Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company -1.87%
PetroChina Company Limited -1.78%
KOSPI Composite Index (South Korea) -1.17%
OCI Company Ltd -0.88%
SK Innovation Co -1.52%
LG Chem, Ltd -0.97%
Lotte Chemical Corp 0.74%
Hanwha Corp -0.98%
TSEC weighted index (Taiwan) -0.73%
Formosa Petrochemical Corp 0.00%
Nan Ya Plastics -2.02%
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp -1.28%
STI Index (Singapore) -1.05%
Wilmar International Limited -1.32%
Olam International Limited -0.68%
FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (Malaysia) 0.45%
SSE Composite Index (Shanghai, China) -0.82%
Jakarta Composite Index (Indonesia) -0.40%
PT. Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk -1.31%

Asia is struggling to curb the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, with multiple countries across the region reporting record-high daily cases in recent weeks.

This has led to more stringent restrictions in Thailand and Indonesia, as well as an extension of restrictions in Malaysia.

In Indonesia, the government may extend strict movement restrictions when these expire on 20 July, while in Thailand, a nationwide ban was imposed on public gatherings on 16 July and may be planning more curbs.

In South Korea, tougher social gathering restrictions will be expanded outside the Seoul metropolitan area starting Monday, banning gatherings of more than four people from eight currently until 1 August.

The country recorded 1,454 new COVID-19 infections on 18 July, its 11th straight day of above-1,000 new cases despite tightened restrictions.

Meanwhile, oil prices are falling in response to a deal reached by OPEC and its allies on Sunday to raise oil output by as much as 400,000 bbl/day each month from August until December 2021, ending a standoff between Saudi Arabia and the UAE

OPEC+ last year cut production by a record 10m barrels per day following the slump in demand due to the pandemic and collapse in prices.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its monthly report released last week said that it expects global oil demand to increase by 5.4m barrels per day in 2021 and a further 3m barrels next year.

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman

Photo: A trader walks by the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI). (By Lee Jin-man/AP/Shutterstock)

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