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Apple's earnings bombshell sends shares of Asian suppliers tumbling

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An Apple store Los Angeles   © Reuters

HONG KONG/TOKYO -- After U.S. tech giant Apple's surprise announcement Tuesday that its revenue had dropped for the first time in 13 years in the first quarter of 2016, shares of Asian suppliers for Apple tumbled.

     On the Taiwanese market, the stock price of key iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn Technology Group, continued to slide for the third straight day, with its stock price briefly hitting 79.3 New Taiwan dollars, down NT$0.9, or 1.12%, from the previous day.

     Other than Foxconn, camera lens module maker Largan Precision and metal casing maker Catcher Technology are also seeing falls in their stock prices.

     Quincy Liu, general manager of Masterlink Securities Investment Advisory, expressed concern that Apple's poor earnings could make it even more difficult for Taiwanese suppliers to do business.

     Some Taiwanese companies are beginning to do business with other companies than Apple, such as Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, Liu noted. However, Apple and other U.S. companies still have a strong influence on Taiwanese suppliers, he said.

     In Tokyo, investors also sold shares of Apple suppliers, including Alps Electric and Taiyo Yuden.

     Industrial robot maker Fanuc, whose earnings are greatly affected by investments in machines to make iPhones, saw shares decline. Being a heavyweight among Nikkei Stock Average components, Fanuc alone pushed down the key index by 23 at the end of the morning session. The Nikkei index fell 100 points in the morning to 17,253.

     After the earnings announcement, Apple dropped about 8% in after-hours trading. Tokyo market players are concerned that if the selling continues in New York on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be pulled down.

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