(ICIS) -- Share values in the chemical sector are recording dramatic falls on Tuesday as European stock markets are rocked following major sell-offs in both the US and Asia, amid continuing fears of a double-dip recession and the downgrading of US debt by credit rating agency Standard & Poor's.
The European Central Bank's (ECB's) decision on Sunday to step into the bond markets and buy Italian and Spanish debt in order to ensure eurozone price stability and avoid a Greece-style bail-out appears to have had little positive impact in an extremely nervous market environment.
At 09:00 GMT, the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx Chemicals index was trading down 4.00%, as shares in many of Europe's major chemical companies plummeted following steep drops on Monday.
Top European producers were hit hard - German major BASF's shares had dropped 4.49%, Bayer had fallen 5.78%, Dutch coatings firm AkzoNobel was down 2.99%, and France's Arkema had fallen by 2.14%. Belgium's Solvay had fallen 2.51% and Swiss specialties maker Clariant was trading down 2.09%. France-based industrial gases company Air Liquide was down 1.68%, while Germany's Linde was down 6.55%. Catalysts maker and precious metals trader Johnson Matthey of the UK was down slightly, by 0.18%.