By Emily Horton
European stocks opened lower on Thursday as a surprise sales downgrade from Apple jolted markets.
As a result, the technology sector led the decline, with Switzerland’s Ams AG losing 20%.
What are markets doing?
All European markets were struggling on Thursday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 (STOXX:XX:SXXP) dropping 0.6% to 335.16, having finished down 0.1% the previous day.
France’s CAC 40 (PAR:FR:PX1) and Germany’s DAX 30 (XEX:DX:DAX) both lost 0.8% and Italy’s FTSE MIB (BORSA:IT:I945) was 0.6% off the pace at 18,233.13.
In the U.K., the FTSE 100 index of leading shares (FTSE:UK:UKX) was down by 0.3% at 6,714.13.
The euro (XTUP:EURUSD) was up to $1.1382, having finished at $1.1466 late Wednesday in New York.The British pound (XTUP:GBPUSD) was down to $1.2561 from $1.2745.
What is driving the market?
In a rare move, Apple downgraded its revenue projections to $84 billion for the quarter, about 9% less than the $91.3 billion estimate from analysts polled by FactSet.
In a letter to shareholders, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook attributed the projected fall to China’s slowing economy and recent U.S. tariffs on more than $200 million worth of Chinese goods. The company’s shares fell 7.6% to $146 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
Asian markets were mostly down as a result of Apple’s announcement.
What stocks are active?
The technology sector led the top decliners in the Stoxx 600. Ams AG (SWX:CH:AMS) lost almost 20% on Thursday, while Dialog Semiconductor Plc (FRA:DE:DLG) dropped by 7% and Infineon Technologies AG (FRA:DE:IFX) lost 4%.
Royal Mail PLC (LON:UK:RMG) was the top gainer for the Stoxx 600, jumping by just over 4%.
In the retail sector, Next PLC (LON:UK:NXT) gained 3%, while supermarket chains Tesco PLC (LON:UK:TSCO) added 2% and Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON:UK:MKS) rose by just under 2%.