RPT-SSAB Q4 well below forecast, Europe, North America weigh

STOCKHOLM Fri Feb 8, 2013 2:15am EST

STOCKHOLM Feb 8 (Reuters) - Swedish specialty steel maker SSAB on Friday posted a much worse than expected operating loss for the fourth quarter and said it had seen weak markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

The company's loss - the second three-month period in a row in the red - was 665 million Swedish crowns ($103.4 million) compared to a profit of 50 million in the same period a year ago and the average forecast of a loss of 315 million in a Reuters poll.

"The weak trend pertains particularly to the European market, but North American and Asian customers also adopted a wait-and-see approach," the company said in a statement.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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