LONDON -- European stocks looked like they got out of bed with a spring in their step, but the profit warning from WorldCom stamped on their toes.
In London, the
plunged to a session low of 6,396 before recovering to close up 19 points at 6,458 as the U.S. markets bounced from their opening plunge. It was a similar story for the
, which fell to a low of 3,380 before eventually closing up 41 points, or 1.2%, at 3,432.
In truth, the FTSE 100's two big telecom stocks,
( BTY), gave some early clues that the market was perhaps not doing as well as it initially appeared.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. But after the recent strong rallies, both stocks looked to be feeling some profit-taking selling pressure. This was put it down to nagging fears about debt levels, further downgrades and problems over refinancing. In addition, research from brokerage
said there is a considerable overhang of Vodafone shares after its purchase of Spain's
. This is likely to weigh on the share price.
Vodafone fell to a session low of 272.5 pence ($3.95), before closing 10p lower, or 3.5%, at 276.75. That alone was enough to wipe 27 points off the FTSE 100. BT plunged to 763p before ending the day 18p, or 2.2%, in the red at 790.
revenue warning had only minor impact on U.K.-listed chip stocks.
( ARMHY) stumbled to 670 before recovering to close up 11p, or 3.5%, at 691.
held relatively steady and closed the day 1p lower at 234.5. And
remained firm throughout the day to eventually close 17p, or 5%, higher at 34.5p.
Game developer and publisher
( EIDSY)closed up 5.25p, or 1.9%, to 285 despite losing its chief executive. This comes hot on the heels of last month's departure of the CFO.
Pharmaceuticals were active as they attracted a string of broker comments.
rose 20p, or 2.3%, to 910, even though
maintained its "neutral" recommendation with a price target of 860p. Merger partner
( GLX) finished up 16p, or 0.8%, at
Most of Europe's other stock markets ended largely unchanged, as the
in Paris closed up 11.4, or a mere 0.2%, at 6,409.1 and the
in Frankfurt was flat at 7,077.3 late in German trading. However, the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was down 70.3, or 1.5%, at 4,619.1.
German carmakers continued to rally, as
rose 1.63 euros, or 2.8%, to 60.50 ($51.33) and
( DCX) jumped 1.70 euros, or 3.1%, to 56.00.
Telecoms, on the other hand, had an off day, as
( DT) fell 1.43 euros, or 3.2%, to 42.82,
closed down 1.20 euros, or 1%, at 122.00 and
( KPN) dipped 1.03 euros, or 4.3%, to 22.84.
Financials regained some of the spotlight Wednesday, as
( DTBKY) released solid nine-month earnings. However, the figures did little for the bank's shares, which were down 0.20 euros, or 0.2%, at 96.28. Rival
( DRSDY), which reports Thursday, was down 1.10 euros, or 2.2%, at 48.00.