European Closing Update: Markets Test, Break Support Levels - TheStreet

LONDON -- Decisions by the

European Central Bank

and the

Bank of England

to keep interest rates steady could do little to help the region's markets as technology stocks were slammed again amid the

Nasdaq

's resumed downward spiral. Mobile phone makers, telecom operators, software makers -- you name it, it fell.

The

FTSE 100

closed the day down 88 points lower, or 1.2%, at 6,303 after being in negative territory for almost the entire session and the

Techmark

ended down 132 points, or 3.7%, at 3,436.

The day's biggest losers were all from the technology and telecom sectors. Cable company

Telewest

(TWSTY)

tried again to bounce following the release of results and after last week's heavy losses. The stock posted a session high of 186p ($2.77), but then took a bath. By the close, it was once again the Footsie's biggest faller, and shed another 12.5% of its value to close at 153p.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

, whose chip designs are used in mobile phones and so is closely tied to the fat of the phone makers, fell 88p, or 12.1%, to 630. Only on Wednesday, e-security provider

Baltimore

(BALT)

looked to be back in favor. But as the saying goes, another day, another dollar, and the stock plunged 40p, or 5.8%, to 654.

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

dropped 7.75p, or 2.5%, to 270.25 and

British Telecom

(BTY)

fell 19p, or 1.5%, to 850.

On the Continent, key supports at 7,000 on the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt and 6,400 on the

CAC 40

in Paris were tested and broken. The CAC closed down 150 points, or 2.3%, at 6,380 and late in the German session, the Dax was down 119 points, or 1.7%, at 6,993.

Especially hard hit were phone makers such as

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

and Alcatel. Nokia closed down 2.47 euros, or 5.4%, to 43.25 ($38.93) and Alcatel fell 4.70 euros, or 6.2%, to 71.30.

In telecoms,

France Telecom

(FTE)

fell 4.00 euros, or 3.0%, to 130.00 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

was down 0.70 euro, or 3.0%, to 22.50.

Even firms that released good earnings figures weren't spared. Both

Deutsche Bank

and

Societe Generale

(symbol)

announced stellar first-half results, yet Deustche fell 2.30 euros, or 2.4% to 95.70 and SocGen closed down 4.90 euros, or 7.0%, to 65.00.