(Reuters) - Shares in U.S. steelmakers fell on Wednesday and analysts said it was likely related to a major iron-ore producer warning that commodity markets could cool further amid the Euro zone crisis and uncertainty over the global economy.
On the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. Steel (X.N) stock closed down 4.9 percent at $22.76, AK Steel (AKS.N) dropped 4.4 percent to $6.49 and Nucor (NUE.N) slipped 2 percent to $35.07. On Nasdaq, Steel Dynamics (STLD.O) Steel Dynamics lost 4.3 percent to $10.93.
Earlier, BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) (BLT.L), the world's top miner and third-biggest supplier of iron ore - a raw material for steel - warned that commodity markets could cool further and said investors had lost confidence in the longer-term health of the global economy.
The spot iron ore price dropped to its weakest level since late February and has given up this year's gains to trade down nearly 2 percent year-to-date, as a Chinese slowdown threatens to curb steel output further.
Analyst Bridget Freas, of Morningstar in Chicago, said the stock slide was likely related to the BHP announcement.
"BHP's comments were depressing and have implications for the whole mining supply chain," she said.