LONDON -- Although its done its best to shrug off recent weakness in the U.S., London finally dropped its resistance and leading U.K. shares plummeted. Liquidity was thin, which didn't help, and at the close the

FTSE

stood a depressing 126.4 points lower, or 2%, at 6,264.80.

Overall, it was a very bad day across the board for tech, media and telecom stocks. The

techMARK 100

shed 135.5 points to 3,593.13 as the entire sector seemed to melt down in the fallout from the

Nasdaq's

latest plunge.

For most of today, the former state telco

British Telecom

(BTY)

was in positive territory and provided one chink of light in the market. But towards the close it too succumbed to the general weakness to close 4p lower at 736 ($10.64). In contrast, fellow telecom heavyweight

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

was heavy for the entire session. Ultimately, it finished 10p lower at 243.

Baltimore Technologies

announced its intention to launch a new program aimed at the Application Service Provider market, but the Celtic Tiger still got gunned down by 55p to 605.

Online auction site

QXL

(QXLC)

fell to a historic low of 33p before closing down 12.5% at 35p. Meanwhile ISP

Freeserve

(FREE)

shed 5p to 211, which considering the state of the tech sector wasn't too bad a performance.

As ever, in times of strife banks seemed unwilling to lend any support.

HSBC

(HBC)

shed 43p to 960 and

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

plunged 81p to

17.95.

Europe's other major stock markets finished Monday in negative territory, as technology shares had a rough ride. The

CAC 40

in Paris closed down 148.4, or 2.4%, at 6,110.1 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 109.7, or 1.6%, at 6,666.7 late in the German trading day. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 214.4 lower, or 4.6%, at 4,499.2.

Although the Neuer Markt rebounded slightly from a 7% loss and a new low for the year, the poor sentiment hit Germany's blue-chip techs.

Siemens

(SMWAY)

fell 3.60 euros, or 2.5%, to 141.30 ($122.76),

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

was down 9.70 euros, or 4%, at 233.90 and

Infineon

(IFX)

fell 1.68 euros, or 3.2%, to 51.65.

Telecom shares were also lower, as

France Telecom

(FTE)

fell 6.50 euros, or 5.7%, to 108.50 amid reports it might bid for

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

, which closed up 1.39 euros, or 3.6%, at 40.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was off 0.80 euros, or 2.1%, at 37.50 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

closed down 0.71 euros, or 3.1%, at 22.55.