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Maersk Declines on Global Growth Concerns: Copenhagen Mover

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest shipping line, fell the most in a week in Copenhagen trading on concern that global trade will suffer as the U.S. government faces a shutdown and Chinese growth slows.

Maersk B shares fell as much as 1.5 percent, the most since Sept. 23. The stock lost 1.4 percent to 50,950 kroner at 12:04 p.m. local time, with trading volume at 29 percent of the three-month daily average. Maersk’s two shares were among the four biggest losers in the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen 20 index today.

The U.S. risks the first government shutdown in 17 years as the Senate prepares to decide today on a bill on debt limits. At the same time, China’s manufacturing rose less than economists estimated in September, renewing speculation the world’s second-largest economy may be slowing down. Maersk, which transports about 15 percent of the world’s seaborne trade, is already suffering from overcapacity as demand can’t keep up with the pace of new ships entering the market.

“We’re seeing the Maersk shares reacting sensitively to world macro news these days,” Jacob Pedersen, a shipping analyst at Aabenraa, Denmark-based Sydbank A/S, said by phone.

Maersk shares have lost 1.7 percent since the Copenhagen-based company on Sept. 26 held a capital markets day. Maersk said then it will tolerate a lower return in its container line as long as the market remains weak and indicated the drilling division would be less profitable next year due to mandatory ship yard inspections of the rigs.

“There was some negative news out of the capital markets day but nothing that as such changed my fundamental view on Maersk,” Pedersen said. “The market is more concerned about the global growth issues at the moment.”

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