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Fanuc's orders dry up as trade war hits China robot demand

Japanese automation company cuts profit forecast for second half

Chinese buyers of Fanuc's factory automation systems have curbed orders as the U.S.-China trade war progresses.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Fanuc's decline in orders amid an otherwise bright April-June quarter suggests Chinese buyers are pulling back on investment over fears of damage from a trade war with the U.S., setting up the Japanese robotics and automation company for a rough year.

Fanuc's net profit jumped 9.5% on the year to 44.7 billion yen ($403 million) for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the company said Wednesday. Sales climbed 8.5% to 182.8 billion yen thanks to brisk shipments of factory automation equipment, including computer numerical control systems used to guide machine tools. A weaker-than-expected yen also contributed to earnings.

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