HONG KONG — Apple has given global investors another reason to worry, and they reacted on Thursday with a cautious retreat.
Markets across Asia fell slightly but broadly on Thursday, as investors shed technology stocks in particular following the iPhone maker’s announcement to shareholders on Wednesday that its smartphone sales in China had been disappointing. European markets opened lower as well.
Investors who try to predict Wall Street’s moves through futures contracts signaled Wall Street would also open lower on Thursday morning.
Apple said on Wednesday that it was lowering revenue expectations because of weak sales in Greater China — an area that includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan — for the quarter that ended on Saturday. The news added to other data showing China’s growth is slowing as Beijing contends with big debt, ebbing consumer and business confidence, weaker property and stock markets and the burgeoning trade war with the United States.
The Apple disclosure adds to investors’ list of concerns, which also include worries about global growth, rising interest rates in the United States and turmoil in Washington.
Apple had already been giving some investors pause, especially over the future of the iPhone, a once hot-selling product that helped make the Cupertino, Calif., gadget maker the first public company to reach a market capitalization of $1 trillion. After years of dramatic growth, iPhone sales have been sluggish for the past three years. Apple has maintained revenue growth by charging more for each device.
But many investors and analysts see growing evidence that iPhone sales might soon be not just sluggish, but declining.
Tech-heavy indexes led the losses in Asia, where many of Apple’s suppliers are based. South Korea’s Kosdaq fell 1.9 percent, while Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.7 percent. Markets in Japan, another major home for Apple suppliers, were closed for a holiday.
Other markets were more moderate.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was flat, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 index opened 1 percent lower. Germany’s DAX opened 0.8 percent lower, and London’s FTSE 100 index opened 0.4 percent lower.