SINGAPORE (Jan 21): An eventful 2018 is behind us, and 2019 looks tricky for investors, with many legacy issues — trade disputes, interest rates, moderated rate of growth — still hanging over global markets. The revising-down of Apple’s revenue guidance is probably a snapshot of the challenges many MNCs are facing: rising input costs, tepid consumer confidence and trade uncertainties.
Investors are increasingly concerned about the magnitude of a slowdown in consumer spending in Greater China markets, especially on luxury goods from overseas. Many US-listed companies, such as FedEx Corp, Starbucks Corp, Tiffany & Co, Apple and Daimler, have highlighted slowing revenue growth in those markets. The trade war impact probably started to affect US corporate earnings during the holiday season, and President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs on China may prove to have backfired.