Techno stocks take a world­wide beat­ing

Ap­ple’s near 4% dunk­ing on Fri­day hits Asian ri­vals, in­clud­ing Sam­sung

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - Marc Jones

TECH­NOL­OGY stocks fell across Europe and Asia yes­ter­day af­ter the worst day for Ap­ple shares in more than a year, while the euro and its bonds ral­lied af­ter a bumper week­end for pro-EU and pro-busi­ness pol­i­tics in France and Italy.

It was a groggy start to the week for shares as the han­gover of Ap­ple’s near 4 per­cent dunk­ing on Fri­day hit Asian ri­vals, in­clud­ing Sam­sung and Europe’s big chip­mak­ers STMi­cro and Dia­log.

Europe’s tech in­dex fell 2.8 per­cent to put it on track for its big­gest one-day loss since Oc­to­ber. The in­dex had reached a 15-year high ear­lier this month and has soared around 40 per­cent over the last year.

The pan-Euro­pean STOXX 600 was down a more man­age­able 0.6 per­cent, mildly sup­ported by mod­est gains in oil prices, which lifted shares in en­ergy stocks and by the first round of par­lia­men­tary elec­tion re­sults in France which look set to give Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron a huge ma­jor­ity to push through his pro-busi­ness re­forms.

Italy also of­fered some com­fort af­ter the eu­roscep­tic 5-Star Move­ment suf­fered a se­vere set­back in lo­cal elec­tions af­ter fail­ing to make the run-off vote in al­most all the main cities up for grabs.

It spurred on debt mar­kets. Ital­ian gov­ern­ment bond yields, which move in­verse to price, fell to their low­est since Jan­uary. Por­tu­gal’s tum­bled to nine-month lows while France’s bonds closed the gap on bench­mark Ger­man Bunds.

“Macron do­ing well in the first round of the French par­lia­men­tary elec­tions bodes well for him get­ting a ma­jor­ity,” said Lyn Graham-Tay­lor, fixed in­come strate­gist at Rabobank. “The fact that 5-Star did poorly in lo­cal elec­tions in Italy also sug­gests a set­back for pop­ulism in Europe.”

The euro rose back to $1.1220 in the cur­rency mar­kets where an­tic­i­pa­tion is also build­ing ahead of to­day’s con­clu­sion of a two-day meet­ing of the US Fed­eral Re­serve.

The cen­tral bank is widely ex­pected to nudge up US in­ter­est rates by an­other quar­ter point, but econ­o­mists will be watch­ing to see whether the re­cent dip in eco­nomic data and wave of un­cer­tainty that sur­round Don­ald Trump has weighed on con­fi­dence.

Bri­tain’s ster­ling also re­mained in fo­cus as it be­gan to back­slide again. It was hov­er­ing at $1.2730 and 88.08 pence per euro as Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May at­tempted to prop up her po­si­tion af­ter her party’s last week’s dam­ag­ing elec­tion.

Dol­lar in­dex

The dol­lar was a shade lower at ¥110.040. The Bank of Ja­pan also meets this week and it too will be closely fol­low­ing the yen’s 4 per­cent gain since mid-May.

The dol­lar in­dex against a basket of cur­ren­cies nudged down to 97.118 points, eas­ing back from a nine-day high hit at the end of last week af­ter US Pres­i­dent Trump nav­i­gated the tes­ti­mony of ex-FBI chief James Comey.

To­day, At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions will face ques­tions at a Se­nate hear­ing about Comey’s fir­ing and about un­de­clared meet­ings with Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

In com­modi­ties, crude oil prices ex­tended gains af­ter ris­ing on Fri­day when a pipeline leak in ma­jor pro­ducer Nige­ria over­shad­owed sup­ply wor­ries weigh­ing on the mar­ket.

US crude and Brent were both 0.6 per­cent higher at $46.10 (R595.10) and $48.45 a bar­rel, re­spec­tively, while cop­per rose for a fourth straight ses­sion and gold snapped a three-day los­ing streak to climb to $1 269 an ounce. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.