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Tech tremors drive European stocks down to three-week low

Tech tremors drive European stocks down to three-week low
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Fresh anxieties about tech stocks dented European stocks as a drop in Apple shares on Wall Street, after a report the consumer tech giant is cutting production for its new iPhones, sapped appetite for the sector globally.

The tech sector <.SX8P> sank as much as 1.7 percent, hitting its lowest level since Feb 28 2017 as stocks supplying chips to Apple suffered.

Apple suppliers were among the worst-performing. STMicroelectronics <STM.MI> shares tumbled 3 percent, Infineon <IFXGn.DE> fell 3 percent, and AMS <AMS.S> lost 3 percent.

Tech has lost its crown as best-performing sector in Europe and is now down 8 percent this year, behind sectors including oil, healthcare, media, and utilities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> fell 0.4 percent by 0825 GMT, with Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> down 0.7 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> down 0.2 percent.

Shares in French carmaker Renault remained under pressure after its 8.4 percent drop on Monday when CEO Carlos Ghosn was arrested. Downgrades from Exane and BAML analysts weighed the stock down 1.3 percent.

Outside tech, results drove the biggest moves.

German payments firm Wirecard’s shares fell 4.5 percent to the bottom of the DAX after the company said it expected core earnings between 740 and 800 million euros, implying profits growth of 37.5 percent – at the midpoint of the range.

British electrical components maker Halma <HLMA.L> rose 2.7 percent, among top STOXX 600 gainers after the company reported a 19 percent jump in pretax profit for the six months ended Sept. 30.

It also warned Brexit could cause supply chain disruptions.

Peer Spectris <SXS.L> topped the STOXX with a 7.3 percent gain after the company stuck to its full-year outlook.

British challenger bank CYBG <CYBGC.L>, however, sank 8 percent to the bottom of the European index as profits disappointed.

(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Josephine Mason)

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