Stock markets shaken by Apple slide

US trader Image copyright Getty Images

Leading US shares have fallen on Wall Street, dragged lower by Apple, which slipped 3.8% after the technology giant was forced to pull an update to its iOS 8 operating system.

The main Dow Jones index closed down almost 264 points, or 1.5%, at 16,945.

Investor confidence was also knocked by weak durable goods orders figures released by the Commerce Department.

European markets also fell sharply after Wall Street opened.

Germany's Dax, having gained ground in morning trading, ended the day down 1.6%, while France's Cac 40 closed down 1.3%. In the UK, the FTSE 100 was 1% lower.

'Under fire'

Other technology stocks listed on Wall Street were also hit by Apple's slide. Microsoft fell 2.2%and Intel dropped 1.7%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed down by nearly 2% to end the session at 4,466.75, while the broader S&P 500 index fell 1.6% to 1,966.

Earlier, the world's biggest technology company apologised after an update to iOS 8.0.1 left some iPhone users unable to make or receive calls.

The company is also under fire following claims that its new iPhone 6 Plus had bent while in users' pockets.

Analysts suggested Apple would soon overcome these issues and its shares would soon recover.

"Apple's decline is due to a confluence of unforced errors such as the botched iOS 8 update but, with the stock holding up well following the recent product announcements, today's declines could be more of a dip that offers a buying opportunity rather than the start of a bigger slump," said Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders had fallen more than 18% in August from July, to $245bn. However, the drop was largely expected and followed a sharp increase in July, largely due to a jump in orders at airplane maker Boeing.

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