LONDON -- It was a dreadful day for Europe's markets with telecommunication and technology shares bearing the brunt of it.
In London, the
closed down 81 points, or 1.3%, to 6199 and the
wallowed in the red all day to close down 73 points, or 1.9%, to 3697.
The market was off its lows, though, as
Bank of Scotland
surged on reports it is the target of a takeover play. Bank of Scotland shares, which had been trading lower, finished with a gain of 38p, or 6.8%, to 596p. Suitable candidates would be
. Barclays ended up 2p at
17.34, but HSBC was down 20p, or 2.1%, at 939.
Aside from the late-minute flurry in the banks, it was yet another miserable day's trade.
was off 14p, or 2.2%, to 624 and
lost 12p, or 2.0%, to 583.
"There's some profit taking but the big issue for equity markets is that investors think the current oil price is unsustainable," said Jonathan Wright of
A profits warning from U.S. telecom giant
headed up the losers, down 17.25p, or 10.8%, to 142 and
closed only a penny off its year low, losing 7.5p, or 3.0%, to 239.50.
fell 43p, or 5.4%, to reach a new 52-week low of 748p. Analyst Greg Main at
said the thumbs down with BT reflected disappointment that a wireless presentation by the firm on Wednesday didn't reveal any new information about an IPO for the wireless operations. He also said the market was increasingly skeptical about the proposed closer links with
"BT is renowned for not wanting to give up control, which is what they would have to do because AT&T is the bigger party," said Main.
fell 45p, or 3.7%, to
11.70: the timing of an announcement that directors had sold shares didn't help.
lost 30p, or 4.3%, to 670.
Despite these conditions, the IPO of microprocessor designer
was an unqualified success. The chip designer soared to 455p, after floating at 210, before easing slightly to finish at 428p. That gives the company a market cap of over
After starting out higher, Europe's other major stock markets turned tail and finished well down on the day. The
in Paris closed down 150 points, or 2.3%, at 6,255 and the
in Frankfurt was down 111 points, or 1.6%, at 6,642 late in the trading session.
Things were ugly for techs, with
down 4.50 euros, or 1.7%, at 258.00 and
down 7.75 euros, or 4.7%, at 158.25. As a result, late in the session the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was 146 points lower, or 2.9%, at 4,917.
Nor was it any better in telecoms.
was down 3.80 euros, or 3.2%, at 117.00 and
fell 1.06 euros, or 2.7%, to 38.74.
In Paris, insurer and financial services group
fell 6.00 euros, or 3.9%, to 150.0 after posting less-than-expected first-half earnings.