LONDON -- It was a terrible day for European technology companies.

In London, the

Techmark

index of leading tech stocks closed 428.6 points lower at 5,070.8. The 7.8% fall was its biggest one-day fall. This also brought down the

FTSE 100

, which ended 40.1 lower, or 0.6%, at 6,447.0.

The much publicized

Lastminute.com

, which debuted Tuesday, ended the session 75p down, or 15.4%, at 412.5 ($6.48). Retail investors who were granted a measly 35 shares each can just about afford a bottle of mineral water with their profits.

Credit Suisse

appears to have saved the day in the bio-techs, after the brokerage issued a buy note late this afternoon claiming that shares in this particular sector have fallen too far. The biggest casualty on the downside was

Oxford Glycoscience

, which ended 480p lower, or 17.7%, at 22.25 pounds. Another early casualty

Cambridge Antibody

finished 137p off, or 5.6%, at 32.00 pounds, but at one point today was 550p lower.

Techs under the hammer included

Baltimore Technologies

, which fell 14.50 pounds, or 10.8%, to 120.00 pounds.

London Bridge Software

collapsed, finishing 820p lower, or 10.5%, at 69.70 pounds.

Affinity Internet

fell 800p, or 14.0%, to 49.00 pounds, its love affair with the market temporarily over.

Psion

lost 615p, or 10.0%, to 55.34 pounds, and

Geo Interactive Media

gave up 475p, or 16.1%, to 26.00 pounds.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

ended down 491p, or 10.9%, at 41.00 pounds.

Against the trend,

Kewill Systems

rose 135p, or 4.5%, to 31.12 pounds on news that it is set to provide a web-based solution product to

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

.

The market was on drugs today.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

TheStreet Recommends

rose 132p, or 7.8%, to 18.17 pounds, and its merger partner

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

ended the session 45p higher, or 5.8%, at 820. Who say's there's no life in these middle-aged stocks?

AstraZeneca

rose 99p, or 4.0%, to 25.92 pounds.

Technology and telecommunications shares caused the major continental stock markets to close in negative territory. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt closed down 235.59, or 3.1%, at 7414.46 and the

CAC 40

in Paris finished 161.41 lower, or 2.5%, at 6188.94.

In Frankfurt, Dax heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

fell 6.21 euros, or 7%, to 81.89 ($79.22), continuing its slide from Tuesday.

Tech favorites also got hit.

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

fell 3.40 euros, or 2.6%, to 128.50,

Siemens

(SMAWY)

dropped 17.71 euros, or 10.4%, to 153.09 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

closed off 64 euros, or 6.5%, at 926.

Some investors remained sanguine despite the day's losses. "I don't think this is anything to get too worked up about," said one Frankfurt-based trader.

Carmaker

BMW

was the day's biggest gainer amid reports that the company is preparing to dump its loss-making Rover unit in the U.K. BMW closed up 3.74 euros, or 13.7%, at 31.05. That helped other auto companies like

Volkswagen

(VLKAY)

finish 0.55 euros higher, or 1.3%, to 42.91.

In Paris, telcos weren't spared any pain, as

France Telecom

(FTE)

dropped 7.60 euros, or 4.1%, to 176.50 and

Alcatel

(ALA)

closed 11.90 euros lower, or 5%, at 229.10.