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US: Stocks fall, hit by Apple's China problems


[NEW YORK] US stocks dipped in opening trade Friday on reports of a crackdown on Apple by China that offset rising optimism that Britain will vote to stay in the European Union.

Apple shares fell 1.5 per cent following reports that the city of Beijing concluded the technology giant violated a Chinese company's design patents and may be forced to halt sales of its latest iPhones in the Chinese capital.

Equity markets in Europe and Japan reversed Thursday's losses on speculation that British voters will reject an exit of the EU in the June 23 referendum after the murder of pro-EU Labor member of parliament Jo Cox.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,693.86, down 0.2 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent at 2,073.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 per cent to 4,826.30.