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Shipping shares drop after Seanergy Maritime offer

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Shares of many shipping companies dropped in volatile trading, retracing more of their post-U.S. election gains after Seanergy Maritime Holdings on Friday became the latest shipper this week to announce a direct share offer pricing.

Seanergy shares were down 28.2 percent at $2.80 after the $3.6 million offering, while shares of Top Ships were down 13.5 percent and shares of Globus Maritime lost 8.9 percent.

The losses extend Thursday's decline in many of the shares after DryShips' announcement of a share sale that would give it proceeds of $20 million initially.

Though many of the stocks remain up sharply since Nov. 8 Election Day, and shares of DryShips, which has led the recent shipping rally with a 1,500-percent post-election jump until Thursday, was up 12.7 percent on Friday.

Besides some optimism that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's push for more infrastructure spending may give a boost to commodity shipping, the shares may have been helped by increases in shipping rates.

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying industrial commodities, rose to its highest level in almost two years on Friday fueled by expectations for increased demand for iron ore and coal.

Still, analysts and others have questioned the sustainability of the rally, especially given financial constraints of some of the companies and other factors,

"The U.S. only consumes about 7 percent of global steel and is not a large importer/exporter of iron ore or coal," said analyst Jonathan Chappell of Evercore ISI.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Grant McCool)