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Asian chemical shares tumbled in early trade on Friday

August 19/2011

(ICIS) -- Asian chemical shares tumbled in early trade on Friday, weighed by recession fears in the US and fresh concerns over the health of European banks. A plunge in a US mid-Atlantic factory activity survey by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank spooked financial markets as the data is viewed as a barometer of national manufacturing.

The result marked the weakest reading since early 2009, according to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a research note on Friday. A fall in US home sales in July also stoked worries that the US economic recovery could stall and slide into a recession.

A dip in European markets on Thursday fanned further concerns over the economic health of the region. Banks led the fall after a report that US regulators are stepping up scrutiny of the local operations for Europes largest banks on concerns the sovereign debt crisis may lead to funding issues, said UBS Wealth Management Research in a note.

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