Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) European supply chain, as well as its German-listed units, traded higher Monday as investors bet that a truce in the U.S.-China trade war will eliminate a key tariff risk that had been lingering over the world's most valuable tech company.
A White House statement late Saturday said President Donald Trump will hold off on increasing tariffs on $200 billion worth China-made goods, which were set to kick-in on January 1, for at least 90 days as the two sides negotiate a settlement on myriad trade, technology transfer and intellectual property theft disputes that have eroded relations for must of the past year. The decision also means tariffs on a second basket of goods, valued at $267 billion and which include significant consumer tech products such as Apple iPhones, will be delayed for at least three months.
Apple's U.S.-listed stock was marked 1.8% higher at 181.75 in early Monday trading, a move that value sthe Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant at just over $880 billion. Apple's European-listed supply-chain-linked stocks such as STMicroelectronics (STM) were marked 6.6% higher in Amsterdam at €13.80 each and Dialog Semiconductor plc (DLGNF) , an Anglo-German chipmaker listed in Frankfurt whose power-management chip technology was recently licensed to Apple in a 600 million deal, rose 5% to €24.07 each. Swiss-listed AMS (AMSSY) , which designs facial recognition sensors thought to be used in Apple's iPhones, surged 6.4% to €29.59 each.
Last week, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that it was "highly unlikely" that he'll hold off on taking the current level of tariffs applied on China-made imports into the United States to 25% on January 1, adding that "I can make (the levy on consumer tech products) 10% and people could stand that very easily."
Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the issue of tariffs following the company's fourth quarter earnings on November 1, telling investors that he was "very optimistic and positive that (U.S.-China trade) discussions that are going will be fruitful."
"These relationships, these trade relationships are big and complex, and they clearly do need a level of focus and a level of updating and modernization," Cook said. "And so I'm optimistic that the countries, the U.S. and China and the U.S. and Europe and so forth, can work these things out and work for the benefit of everyone."
Data from the International Trade Center shows that $45 billion worth of mobile phones were imported from China into the United States last year, and Trump himself raised the issue of Apple-focused tariffs back in September.
Cook described the public consultation process for the proposed tariffs on $200 billion in China-made goods "tedious" because, he said, "you not only have to analyze the revenue products, which are a bit more straightforward to analyze, but you also have to analyze the purchases that you're making through other companies that are not related to revenue."