LONDON -- The Europeans, ever a suspicious lot, never trusted the bravado shown by U.S. investors in the face of the Federal Reserve's decision to raise rates and the markets ended Wednesday sharply lower.


FTSE 100

made no real attempt to reach positive territory and it ended down 122.2, or 2.0%, at 6196.2. Tech stocks followed the same pattern, and the


index closed off 119.5, or 3.4%, at 3397.4.

The leader board was not a pretty sight, with most of the big names losing ground. Footsie heavyweight

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

lost 12p, or 4.3%, to 261 ($3.92), accounting for more than a quarter of the Footsie fall, and

British Telecom


was down 3p, or 0.3%, to 992.

However, some telecoms did better.

Colt Telecom


finally responded to recent good figures and broker upgrades with a gain of 38p, or 1.7%, to

22.73. It was also helped by plans to extend its current alliance with


(CSCO) - Get Report


Cable & Wireless


bucked the trend with a gain of 5p, or 0.5%, to 974 in the wake of good annual results.

Media stocks were still a mixed bunch at the close.


steamed ahead with a gain of 32p, or 4.6%, to

21.26, while



shed 44p, or 3.9%, to


Tech stocks were volatile and mostly lower.

Bookham Technology


fell 132p, or 3.3%, to

37.80, and

ARM Holdings


closed down 18p, or 2.6%, at 664.5.

Europe's other stock markets also fell, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt down 162.7, or 2.2%, at 7208.4 and the

CAC 40

in Paris down 109.7, or 1.7%, to 6447.7. The Neuer Markt's

Nemax 50

index was down 165.6, or 2.6%, at 6171.8.

Telecoms were particularly hard hit. Dax heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

failed to recover from this morning from a largely discounted rumor circulated that the company was about to issue a profit warning and closed down 3.50 euros, or 5.3%, to 62.69 ($56.42).

France Telecom


ended down 6.00 euros, or 3.8%, at 154.00 and


(TEF) - Get Report

closed down 0.95 euro, or 3.9%, at 23.70.

Phone equipment makers weren't spared either, with



down 4.80 euros, or 1.6%, at 290.00 and


(NOK) - Get Report

down 1.20 euros, or 1.9%, at 61.05.