Nikkei falls to two-week low as Apple warning hurts technology stocks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei falls to two-week low as Apple warning hurts technology stocks
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to two-week low on Tuesday, dragged down by tech companies after Apple Inc AAPL.O warned it was unlikely to meet its sales target for the March quarter as the coronavirus outbreak hurt production and demand in China.

The Nikkei average .N225 fell 1.2% to 23,237.44 points by the midday break, its lowest level since Feb. 4, and the broader Topix .TOPX dropped 1.2% to a two-week low of 1,667.72.

All but one of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were trading lower, with precision machinery .IPRCS.T , metal products .IMETL.T and electric machinery .IELEC.T being the worst three performers.

Apple told investors late on Monday that its manufacturing facilities in China that produce iPhone and other electronics have begun to re-open, but are ramping up slower than expected. its Japanese suppliers, electric parts maker Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 6981.T shed 3.4% and Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd 6976.T , which produces ceramic capacitors for iPhones, lost 4.1%.

Also hurting market sentiment was news that the Trump administration was considering changing U.S. regulations to allow it to block shipments of chips to Huawei Technologies HWT.UL from companies such as Taiwan's TSMC 2330.TW , the world's largest contract chipmaker. semiconductor equipment supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd 8035.T tumbled 4.7%, while semiconductor test equipment maker Advantest Corp 6857.T plummeted 6.5%.

Elsewhere, Asics Corp 7936.T , one of the sponsors of Tokyo Marathon, slid 4.7% after organisers of the March 1 race said the 38,000 general participants who signed up for the event will not be allowed to compete, citing coronavirus fears.

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