CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Cathay Pacific says hedged 37 pct of H2 2012 fuel usage, 27 pct in 2013

Wed Aug 8, 2012 5:14am EDT

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(Corrects headline, first paragraph after company clarifies fuel hedging was for H2 2012, not whole of 2012)

HONG KONG Aug 8 (Reuters) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd , the world's largest air freight carrier, said on Wednesday that it has hedged 37 percent of its fuel usage for the second half of 2012 and 27 percent in 2013.

Financial Director Martin Murray said fuel prices were high for most of the first half of this year then fell in June, and the company increased its hedging position when prices dipped.

Murray was speaking after the company posted its worst first-half loss since 2003, hit by high fuel costs, weak cargo demand and fewer premium passengers, pushing its shares down as much as 7.7 percent on Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific shares closed down 4.3 percent at HK$12.36 on Wednesday, the lowest level in nearly two months and lagging a flat overall market.

The stock has dropped 7 percent so far this year, lagging a 9 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. (Reporting By Alison Leung; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Chris Lewis)

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