LONDON -- Europe's markets were clearly in a skittish mood on Tuesday and, with a lack of any firm lead from the U.S., they ended lower on the day.

The

FTSE 100

hovered for most of the day between 40 and 50 points on the downside, before ending the session down 44 points, or 0.7%, at 6213. The

Techmark 100

fared worse, closing the session off 52 points, or 1.4%, at 3,727.

"If the Street had come in good we could have been off the to races, but as it was nothing happened," said one dealer.

Media companies were some of the biggest losers after

Merrill Lynch

predicted that weak advertising revenues would hurt profits at

Granada Media

, which closed down 50p, or 9.0%, at 503 ($7.29). This hurt other media stocks.

Carlton Communications

(CCTVY)

lost 32p, or 5.2%, to 580p on moderately heavy volume and

United News & Media

(UNEWY)

fell 29.5p, or 4.0%, to 711.5.

Pharmaceutical stocks were hurt after news that Republican leaders are backing efforts to allow the re-importation of U.S.-made prescription drugs from countries where they are sold more cheaply, such as Mexico. Analysts say this is potentially catastrophic news for the drug companies. As such

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

fell 15p, or 1.7%, to 891 and

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

lost 42p, or 2.1%, to

19.64.

Technology stocks faced another day of weakness after the overnight fall of the

Nasdaq Composite

.

One exception was

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

, which announced the creation of

Vodafone Ventures

, a

100-million global venture fund to invest in wireless and Internet opportunities. The stock rose 2.75p, or 1.1%, to 245. It was also announced that Klaus Esser, the former head of Mannesmann -- which Vodafone acquired after in a hostile takeover -- would leave the board of Vodafone. Not empty handed, mind you: he has $27 million to count in his spare time.

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On the Continent the

CAC 40

in Paris closed 42.2 lower, or 0.7%, at 6,294.1 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 32.5, or 0.5%, at 6,756.3 late in the German session. The Neuer Markt's technology-heavy

Nemax 50

index was down 95.8, or 1.8%, at 5,332.2.

Investors sold technology shares lower across the Continent, with

Siemens

(SMWAY)

down 2.00 euros, or 1.3%, at 156.50 ($136.75),

STMicroelectronics

(STM) - Get Report

off 1.50 euros, or 2.5%, at 59.10 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

down 1.85 euros, or 0.7% at 271.75.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

erased early gains to fall 1.58 euros, or 4%, to 38.50, amid news the German government has pledged to reduce its stake to facilitate DT's purchase of U.S. wireless operator

VoiceStream

(VSTR)

.

Elsewhere in the telecoms sector,

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

fell 0.95 euros, or 4%, to 22.85 and

France Telecom

(FTE)

dropped 3.70 euros, or 3%, to 118.80

Telco equipment makers

Alcatel

(ALA)

and

Ericsson

(ERICY)

both posted heavy losses Tuesday. France's Alcatel dipped 4.25 euros, or 5.1%, to 78.75 and Sweden's Ericsson closed down 7.50 krona, or 4.5%, at 160.50 ($16.58).