Apple takes shine off stocks rally from global markets
Disappointment over the timing of Apple’s iPhone X release hampered further gains for world stock markets on Wednesday after an easing of concerns about North Korea sent indices to record highs. With Tokyo gaining on a broadly weaker yen, MSCI’s main indicator of Asian shares hit a 10year peak, but Europe’s main markets all dipped in early trade.
Apple suppliers including AMS, IQE Plc and Dialog fell by 2-5 per cent at the opening, with traders citing the later than expected November 3 shipping date for the new iPhone as the main reason.
That followed a small fall in Apple shares as Wall Street surged back to record highs on Tuesday.
“There has been just a minor retracement, hardly an indication of which way the European session will be headed today,” analysts from Italy’s Unicredit said in a morning note.
“If there is anything that surprises us equity bulls, it is the almost linear nature of the (global) move without severe setbacks.”
The pan-European STOXX 600 dipped 0.3 per cent as weakness in chipmakers was compounded by a drop in miners.
Chipmakers have been the best-performing among Europe’s tech stocks this year, accounting for a large chunk of the sector’s outperformance. AMS shares have gained 165 per cent year-to-date.
“The economics of the Apple announcement are interesting because it will really test this theory that inflation is going to be weak,” said Mike Bell, global markets strategist with JP Morgan Asset Management in London.
“With the iPhone coming in around $1,000 it will be interesting to see how healthy demand is. If it’s relatively healthy I think it shows that there is still quite a lot of pricing power for US companies and consumers have confidence.”
In currency markets the dominant trend this week has been a recovery for the dollar and sterling. The dollar hit a 12-day high above 110 yen in Asian time before easing back as traders awaited US inflation numbers on Thursday.
Britain’s pound hit a one-year high above $1.33 and a six-week high on a trade-weighted basis.
“Now it’s ‘wait and see’ for US dollar investors,” said Esther Reichelt, a strategist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Everyone’s waiting for the inflation data tomorrow and the Fed next week.”
After a soft start in Europe, oil prices were marginally higher, with Opec’s expectations of higher demand for its crude next year countering reports of rising US crude stockpiles.