Caterpillar Inc spooked investors for a second straight quarter on Wednesday with a 4 percent drop in Asia-Pacific construction equipment sales that pointed to more weakness in China, its key growth market.
Shares of the heavy-duty equipment maker, a bellwether for economic activity whose results often influence global stock market sentiment, fell more than 2 percent, overturning an initial rise due to overall results that were flattered by a tax gain.
The world’s largest heavy duty equipment maker took a hit in the fourth quarter from an unexpectedly sharp slowdown in China, which accounts for up to 10 percent of company sales. The company had then warned that it expected construction growth in the world’s second largest economy to cool after two years of significant growth.
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