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LONDON -- Wall Street is sneezing, and it seems Europe has already caught the cold.


FTSE 100

closed Tuesday down 66.9, or 1.1%, to 6014.7. And it might have been even worse if not for a decent gain in

Vodafone AirTouch

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. Vodafone closed up 33p, or 10.8%, to 344, on volume of 863 million.

British Telecom


was also a ray of sunshine in a very cloudy sky, rising 50p, or 4.8%, to 11.01 pounds. Investors piled in on the hope it will start spinning off assets like its mobile phone division to boost its stock price and discourage any unsolicited takeover bids.

Capita Group

ended 207p, or 18.1%, higher at 13.55 pounds in the wake of excellent results and its new link with


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, member of the


mobile phone consortium, jumped 175p, or 4.0%, to 50.74 pounds on its latest data-synchronization deal.

Baltimore Technology

had another good day (when was the last bad day?), rising 687p, or 5.7%, to 127.37 pounds.

Despite this, the

Techmark Index

of leading tech shares closed lower -- down 17.2 points, or 0.4%, at 4,856.9, reflecting weakness in

ARM Holdings


, which dropped 285p, or 6.9%, to 38.75 pounds, and

Geo Interactive Media

, which fell 235p, or 11.6%, to 17.55 pounds.

BG Group

also failed to hold on to earlier gains earned on the back of fourth-quarter earnings and potential telecom aspirations, finishing with a loss of 12.5p, or 4.0%, to 299.

Wall Street's fall prompted most of the major continental stock markets to give up their early gains and finish lower. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt closed up 17.41, or 0.2%, at 7607.94 and the

CAC 40

in Paris finished 3.97 lower at 5963.31.

Individual shares experienced considerable volatility, with

Deutsche Telekom

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losing the gains it made after finally announcing the sale of part of its cable TV network. Telekom ended down 1.90 euros, or 2.2%, to 85.59.

On the other hand, shares of utilities






surged on news that Veba had successfully completed initial tests to use its electricity grid as a network for broadband voice and data services. Veba finished up 5.20 euros, or 11%, at 52.50 and Viag ended 2.11 euros higher, or 11%, at 21.10.

Many Frankfurt blue-chip tech stocks were also able to book solid gains.



closed up 2.10 euros, or 1.3%, at 165.10 and


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rose 0.50 euros, or 0.3%, to 147. Software maker


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ended down 6.60 euros, or 0.8%, at 863.50.



jumped 1.29 euros, or 6.0%, to 22.59 after a newspaper report the airline was considering merging its logistics business with the Deutsche Post.

Away from Frankfurt,


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in Madrid closed down 0.07 euros, or 0.2%, to 28.71 and in Paris,

France Telecom


finished up 0.40 euros, or 0.3%, at 159.50.