FTSE drops 1.5 per cent

<p>The blue-chip index closed at its lowest level in more than a week.</p>

On Wednesday (July 22nd), the FTSE 100 dropped to 6,653.39 points, its lowest level in more than a week and closed at 6,667.34.

The results came after a poorly received earnings report from Apple brought down tech stocks. Weaker metal prices also factored in the fall.

Metals and mining

There has also been pressure on gold producers. Fresnillo dropped 2.6 per cent as gold prices hit a five-year low. 

An update from BHP Billiton also dragged down miners, as its stocks dropped 5.7 per cent. The company could see a $650 million (£416 million) hit to its full-year profits linked to write-downs in its copper business.

The UK mining index hit a six-year low after sliding 4.6 per cent. This was its biggest one-day percentage drop since January. Anglo American, a diversified global miner dropped 5.6 per cent to reach its lowest point in 13 years.

Commenting on the FTSE results, equities expert Richard Hunter explained: "Basic resources stocks are being hammered by weak metals prices as there are question marks over metals demand from top consumer, China."

He added: "Discouraging company updates have also soured sentiment."

Technology

ARM Holdings, a chip designer, saw the biggest decline in the FTSE 100 index after dropping 6.6 per cent. The company reported a pre-tax profit that was only slightly below expectations, but it was knocked back again after Apple's results were released on Tuesday. ARM's processor designs are used in a number of Apple products, including iPads, iPhones and watches.

Apple's report noted that it had missed revenue expectations and this news added to market concerns that smartphone demand is declining.

The FTSE wasn't the only index hit by the news. Across Europe, technology stocks dropped around $6 billion in market value.

Meanwhile, equipment rental company Ashstead fell 3.5 percent after Bank of America and Merrill Lynch downgraded it to "underperform".

Risers included easyJet, which rose 4.9 percent after it said higher demand for beach holidays helped support revenues.

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