LONDON -- Small wonder that the FTSE 100 ended 178.9 points lower, or 2.8%, at 6,178.1 and the Techmark slumped a further 196.3 points, or 5.2%, to 3,530.1, given that by the close of trade here the Dow Jones Industrial Average was some 340 points lower and the Nasdaq was off 260 points.

U.K. market makers are suggesting that this is the ultimate shakeout, because even the tech stocks are starting to look cheap. "We're in limbo, my order book is down to about two," moaned one London trader.

The funeral cortege today was led by

Baltimore Technologies

(BALTV)

, down 17.27 pounds, or 24.2%, at 53.44 ($84.44). The mourners included

Psion

, down 768p, or 22.6%, at 26.30 pounds and

London Bridge Software

at 40.07 pounds, down 250p, or 5.9%.

BATM Advanced Technologies

stunned everyone with a gain of 107p, or 2.4%, to close at 43.37 pounds, after forming a joint venture with

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

, which will use BATM's Internet protocol switching products.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

ended the session under considerable pressure, closing 23.5p lower, or 7.2%, at 300 amid worries that the telco may have to pay even more than the current 5.3 billion pounds bid to secure a next-generation mobile phone license.

British Telecom

(BTY)

, up earlier on a positive response to restructuring plans, fell back to close 8p lower, or 0.7%, at 11.25 pounds, largely because of the fall in the overall market.

Europe's other stock markets all ended deep in the red, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt finishing down 234.23, or 3.1%, at 7214.83 and the

CAC 40

in Paris closing 198.63 lower, or 3.2%, at 6065.71.

In a bad omen for the initial public offering of its Internet unit on Monday,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was one of the Dax's biggest losers, closing down 4.62 euros, or 6.2%, at 70.01 ($66.82). Other European telcos fared little better, with

France Telecom

(FTE)

tanking 11.20 euros, or 6.8%, to 155 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

dropping 0.72 euros, or 2.9%, to 24.30.

In Frankfurt, both

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

and

Commerzbank

(CRZBY)

surged early on speculation they might merge. Commerzbank finished 0.50 euros higher, or 1.2%, at 42, but Dresdner was unable to hold onto the gains and closed down 0.42 euros, or 0.9%, at 45.57.

German tech shares got hammered late in the day.

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

fell 9.71 euros, or 7.7%, to 116.10, software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

dropped 27.60 euros, or 4.4%, to 600 and

Siemens

(SMWAY)

dropped 9.05 euros, or 6.3%, at 134.70.