Wall Street shares have plummeted in response to Apple’s warning over a slowdown in China.
All three major US indices tumbled on opening as Apple’s nine per cent fall caused another painful day for investors.
The tech giant said lower demand for its products in China and the country’s economic deceleration were to blame for its second revenue warning late last night.
The Dow Jones dropped more than 650 points and 2.8 per cent and was followed on the downward spiral by the Nasdaq – down 2.8 per cent – and the S&P 500 – down 2.4 per cent.
The S&P technology sector fell 3.5 per cent, with chipmakers, which count both Apple and China as major customers, weighing the most.
IPhone suppliers including Qorvo, Advanced Micro Devices and Skyworks Solutions fell more than 7 percent.
The selloff spread to the FTSE 100, which fell 0.6 per cent and to European markets, as the Eurostoxx dropped 1.2 per cent.
Luxury retailers were also hit by Apple’s warning of Chinese slowdown as analysts said investors were concerned Chinese consumers may lose their appetite for high-end brands.
Ralph Lauren fell 3.2 per cent, while Tiffany & Co dropped 4.2 per cent.
Burberry was the FTSE 100’s second biggest fallers, dropping 5.3 per cent, and Mulberry shares slid 3.5 per cent.
“Investors are fearful the Chinese middle class might lose their appetite for Western luxury brands,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.
AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould said mining firms and other companies “reliant on Chinese consumption” were hit this morning by Apple’s warning.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.6 per cent down in the afternoon as the US markets dragged the index down from a position of parity.
Next led the index’s risers, jumping five per cent on strong Christmas sales, followed by Tesco which rose 3.8 per cent.
Astrazeneca, Marks and Spencer and Associated British Foods made up the top five.
The biggest faller was steel and mining company Evraz, which dropped seven per cent, followed by Burberry, Intertek Group, Antofagasta and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust.