LONDON -- For a moment it looked as though U.K. and U.S. technology stocks were about to decouple as the

Techmark

index and the

Nasdaq

diverged. It didn't last and the net result is that tech stocks both side of the pond are being dragged through the mud.

The Techmark index ended the session 187.6 lower, or 3.4%, at 5,413.8, while the Nasdaq was trading with a 1.24% loss, or 60.3 points, at 4,787.51. The

FTSE 100

showed all the hallmarks of an index looking for a shoulder to cry on. The closing fall of 55.3 points, or 0.7%, to 6,411.2 would have been double that had it not been for oil stocks revving up on the back of a strong oil price.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

closed 49p higher, or 9.9%, at 554 ($8.79), while

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

went well with a gain of 29.5p, or 5.2%, to 492. These two amounted to an aggregate on the index of around 70 points.

In the tech stocks, fallers included

Baltimore Technologies

, down 875p, or 3.9%, to 122.00 pounds and

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

, down 329p, or 4.9%, to 43.08 pounds.

Staffware

, the market unimpressed with its annual results, dipped 287p, or 5.7%, to 38.87 pounds, and

Affinity Internet

weighed out with a loss of 250p, or 4.8%, to 54.75 pounds.

Not all the tech stocks died a death, though.

NETBENEFIT

rose 290p, or 28.7%, to 14.62 pounds and

London Bridge Software

advanced 257p, or 2.6%, to 72.25 pounds.

The major European stock markets finished Wednesday lower. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt closed down 77.97, or 1%, at 7987.00 and the

CAC 40

in Paris finished off 64.94, or 1%, at 6376.91.

Both

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

and

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

gave up some of their gains made Tuesday from news of their likely merger. Deutsche Bank closed 2.15 euros lower, or 2.3%, to 92.75 ($89.12) and Dresdner dropped 1.04 euros, or 1.8%, to 55.96. Insurer Allianz, which owns large stakes in both banks, was able to finish up 31 euros, or 8.1%, to 411.

Elsewhere in Frankfurt, gainers and losers stayed pretty much as they had all day. Technology stocks like

Siemens

(SMAWY)

and

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

finished mostly lower, but carmakers such as

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

rose. Siemens closed down 6.62 euros, or 3.6%, at 176.38, SAP finished 45.89 euros lower, or 4.4%, at 1004 and DaimlerChrysler ended up 1.12 euros, or 1.8%, to 64.90. Daimler is in talks with Japan's

Mitsubishi Motors

.

Dax heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

also helped drive the index lower, as reports surfaced a merger with

Qwest

(Q)

may not happen. DT fell 5.35 euros, or 5.3%, to 95.50.