LONDON -- Amid a big sell-off, U.K. investors ditched their racier technology and telecom stocks and turned to solid, steadfast oil and tobacco shares. It was a day for defensive strategies and the
index finished the session a mighty 130.10 points lower at 6,117.60, while the
, reeling from
profits warning, saw 5% wiped off its value.
Those investors long tech stocks had to watch and weep as a panoply of unrelated issues lined up to take the pain.
was hit the hardest, closing 14.1% down at
followed close behind, ending the session 167p lower at
Semiconductor stocks were swept up in the indiscriminate sell-off. Better-than-expected figures from
did little to stave off the selling pressure and closed 16p down at 670.
staggered to finish 35p down at 232.5, while market new-boy
shed 15p to 331.5.
Telecom stocks got marked down too. Dinosaur company
lumbered south to close 31p lower at 606.5. Fellow telecom giant
also failed to resist the negativity and shed 14.5p to 234p.
Punters turned to smokes, drink and oils stocks for solace.
lit up to finish 23.5p higher at 663.5, while
British American Tobacco
burned brightly to close 8.5p higher at 447.5.
As the price of oil rose,
went up too. BP climbed 11.5p to 638, while Shell advanced 16p to 597.5.
Drink stocks offered a safe haven for investors.
shares reached a year high of 646.5p before falling back to close 10.5p higher at 634. Meanwhile fizzy drinks outfit
bubbled up to end the session 10p higher at 429.
Drug stocks were mixed. Heavyweight
slid 22p to
came down to earth to close 46p lower at
Europe's other major stock markets ended lower Wednesday as technology shares continued to plummet. The
in Paris closed down 181.9, or 3%, at 5,956.1 and the
in Frankfurt was down 109.1, or 1.6%, at 6,564.1 late in the German trading day. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was off its lowest point this year, hit earlier Wednesday, but was still down 217.6, or 4.9%, at 4,258.7. Since last spring, the index's value has been halved.
Tech shares across the Continent had a brutal day, as German semiconductor maker
fell 1.67 euros, or 3.3%, to 48.34 ($42.11),
tanked 8.85 euros, or 10.5%, to 75.85 and French chipmaker
dropped 2.08 euros, or 4.2%, to 47.55.
Conditions for telecom shares weren't any better as
fell 6.90 euros, or 6.7% to 96.20,
was down 0.55 euros, or 1.5%, at 36.63 and
closed off 0.70 euros, or 3.1%, at 21.95.
Telco equipment maker
tanked 7.10 euros, or 9.4%, to 69.20.
fell 6.55 euros, or 7.1%, to 85.55, amid fears Germany's largest bank could face massive losses from its junk-bond business.