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European chemicals stocks fell on Wednesday

July 27/2011

(ICIS) -- European chemicals stocks fell on Wednesday as earnings from Switzerland-based Clariant and Germanys Merck Group missed analyst consensus estimates.The Dow Jones Euro Stoxx Chemicals index was trading down by 0.52%, indicating that many of Europes major chemicals companies had also suffered some losses.

Shares of speciality chemicals company Clariant plummeted 12.79% to Swiss francs (Swfr) 13.43 (USD 16.79, EUR 11.58) on the SIX Swiss exchange, after the company reported that its second-quarter sales slipped by 1% year on year to Swfr1.87bn, with its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before exceptional items declining by 9% to Swfr241m.

Clariants EUR 1.9bn acquisition of Germany-based chemical company Sud-Chemie failed to offset a massive appreciation of the Swiss franc and a 14% rise in second-quarter raw material costs compared with the same period last year.

Chemicals company Merck Groups shares have fallen 6.74% to EUR 73.18 on Germanys Xetra stock exchange, after the company recorded a net loss of EUR 85.9m in the second quarter of 2011 as its Merck Serono division struggled with overcapacity issues and the firm wrote off the value of several experimental treatments.

European chemical stocks were also dragged down on continuing fears over the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and US law makers inability to come to an agreement to reduce the country"s deficit and to raise its debt ceiling.

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