Most Asian markets extended the previous day’s sharp losses yesterday with technology firms tumbling after Apple slashed its revenue forecasts blaming slowing China sales.
The yen soared against a number of other currencies including the dollar, euro, Australian dollar and Turkish lira in a flash crash fuelled by the Apple announcement.
In early trade bargain-buyers capitalised on Wednesday’s hammering across Asia but were unable to sustain momentum with sentiment weak owing to uncertainty over a number of issues including the China-US trade war, China’s economic woes, the US government shutdown and Brexit.
Wall Street and European markets mostly recovered from early losses to end slightly higher but Apple’s announcement that it expected to earn less than expected in the key December quarter sent shudders through markets.
The firm, which was already under pressure over signs that sales of its new iPhone were coming up short, blamed sluggish demand in China for the cut and cited the US trade war as a factor.
“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” chief executive Tim Cook told investors.
He told CNBC the tariffs row had put “additional pressure” on an already slowing Chinese economy, resulting in lower store and online traffic.
The firm’s shares – already down about a third from their record high in March – dived 7% in after-hours trading.
Asian tech firms took a hit from the news, with Hong Kong-listed Sunny Optical and AAC Technologies down 6.8% and 5.4%, while Apple supplier TSMC shed 1.8% in Taipei, with Foxconn 0.2% off.
But on broader markets Hong Kong fell 0.3% at 25,064.36 after tanking almost 3% Wednesday, while Shanghai was marginally lower following a more than 1% drop after more weak Chinese economic data.
Seoul retreated 0.8%, Singapore was 1% down while Wellington gave up 0.9%, with Taipei and Mumbai also in negative territory.
Sydney jumped more than 1% while Manila surged 2.2%.
Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
Oil tumbled on lingering concerns about whether Opec-led production cuts would be enough to turn around prices as supplies remain high and demand weakens.
Prices last year suffered their first annual decline since 2015 and are 40% down from their four-year peaks reached in early October.
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