Apple stock fall as much as 7 percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange following news that CEO Steve Jobs was granted medical leave to concentrate on his health.
The news, which was disclosed early on a U.S. holiday when markets were closed, came nearly two years to the date after Jobs first took a six-month break to undergo a liver transplant.
FRANKFURT, GERMANY (JANUARY 17, 2011) REUTERS - Apple shares fell 8.3 percent in Frankfurt by midday on Monday (January 17) after reports that Chief Executive Steve Jobs is taking medical leave for the second time in as many years.
Frankfurt trader Oliver Roth of Close Brothers Seydler Bank AG said "Steve Jobs is the heart and the brain of Apple and as long as nobody knows how long he will be away, speculation in Apple will go on and that will put pressure on the stock price."
Around 6 p.m. (1700 GMT), Apple shares were down 6.21 percent.
"Sooner or later the operative business will come back," Roth said.
"Everybody is expecting, in the next couple of weeks, the announcement of the second generation iPad and then the speculation about Steve Jobs will (return)."
Apple's destiny has been closely tied to the charismatic Jobs, who revived the computer maker's fortunes in 1996 after a 12-year absence from the company he co-founded.