Reuters

(Reuters)

Apple's Results Hit Tech Shares, Dollar Dips Before Fed

Markets Reuters

Technology stocks fell in Europe and Asia on Wednesday after worse-than expected results from Apple and Twitter, while the dollar weakened before a U.S. monetary policy decision, propelling oil to 2016 highs.

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Apple fell 7.5 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported on Tuesday its first decline in iPhone sales and its first drop in revenue in more than a decade. Twitter lost more than 14 percent after first-quarter revenue lagged expectations.

Wall Street was expected to open lower, with futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq down more than 1 percent. Facebook and PayPal are expected to report results after the market closes on Wednesday.

In Europe, Austria's AMS fell 2 percent, though Dialog Semiconducter and ARM reversed early declines.

Japan's Nikkei index closed 0.4 percent lower and Taiwan shares fell 0.2 percent as shares of suppliers of parts for iPhones fell.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.2 percent. German sportswear group Adidas surged 7 percent after raising its guidance for 2016 as it reported a 35 percent jump in first-quarter operating profit.

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Barclays was flat after reporting a fall in profits, but with signs of resilience at the bank's UK division.

"We've had a good run-up in the last couple of weeks, but I think we're still in a bear market. My overall roadmap from here is down," said Andreas Clenow, hedge fund manager at Zurich-based ACIES Asset Management.

Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan retreated 0.7 percent.

Australian shares closed down 0.6 percent. Banks fell there after weak inflation data revived prospects for a rate cut as early as next week.

The dollar fell 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies as investors waited for a Federal Reserve decision on U.S. rates at 1800 GMT. No change in rates is expected, but the Fed may signal its intention to tighten policy later this year.

Economists polled by Reuters expect two increases this year, although futures prices show traders do not expect rates to rise until late 2016, according to CME Group's FedWatch.

"On a risk/reward basis there is more scope there for a hawkish surprise, because the market's been pricing itself for more dovishness for a very long time," said Rabobank currency strategist Jane Foley.

The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1306 while the yen was flat at 111.28 per dollar. The Bank of Japan announces its policy decision on Thursday.

 

AUSSIE DOLLAR

The Australian dollar was the big mover, falling nearly 2 percent to $0.7600.

Sterling  held close to Tuesday's 12-week high of $1.4640 hit on rising expectations Britons will vote in June to stay in the European Union.

The weaker dollar helped lift oil prices. Brent crude, the international benchmark, hit a new high for the year of $47.05 a barrel.

Copper fell for a third consecutive day as the benefits of a weaker dollar were outweighed by worries over demand for China. The metal fell 0.7 percent to $4,925.

Gold edged up about 0.1 percent to $1,245 an ounce.

 

(Additional reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo, Jemima Kelly, Dhara Ranasinghe and Sudip Kar-Gupta in London, editing by Larry King)