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European Early Update: Markets Down but It Could Be Worse

There's heavy selling in tech, media and telecom shares but all eyes are on the U.S.
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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 has managed to climb off its early morning low of 5915.2 and early thoughts that the Footsie would concede 300 points have so far proved groundless. Nevertheless, the index is still some way below the 6000-point level and was trading midmorning down 203.3 points, or 3.3%, to 5972.2.

A senior market maker at Lehman Brothers believes that "we won't be looking to find the bottom of this market, we'll just have to wait and see how Wall Street performs this afternoon."

Nevertheless, another dealer described the market as a place only "for the brave."

There are some hefty falls out there, particularly among stocks with ADR listings. Because much of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average's

weakness came after London closed, stocks trading here and the other side of the pond were out of line at the start of trading. Hence a 16p fall to 284 in

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report

and a 40p dip in

British Telecom

(BTY)

to

10.85.

Other stocks with ADRs include

Cadbury Schweppes

(CSG)

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, down 15p to 435;

ICI

(ICI)

, down 19p to 558;

Energis

(ENGSY)

, down 175p to

25.40; and

Unilever

(UL) - Get Unilever Plc Report

, down 12.25p to 411.5.

Needless to say, technology, media and telecom stocks that were hardest hit, with the

Techmark

index down 294.3, or 8.3%, to 3232.9.

However, one or two of the techs staged a tentative rally from opening lows.

Baltimore Technologies

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fell 1100p at the outset, but trimmed this loss to be down 544p to

48.00.

Psion

fell to

20.00 initially, but picked up slightly to stand 530p lower on balance at

21.00.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

fell to

25.55 but has since clawed its way back to stand down 227p at

30.01.

Conditions on the Continent weren't pretty either, but considering the size of the selloff in the U.S. and Asia, one had the feeling it could be worse. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt trimmed losses to 172.20, or 2.4%, climbing back above the key 7000 level to 7042.63. The

CAC 40

in Paris was off 178.99, or 3.0%, to 5886.72.

In Frankfurt, losses were spread evenly among New Economy and Old Economy shares, with no sector faring particularly worse than any other. As for technology stocks, software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get SAP SE Report

fell 24.20 euros to 575.80,

Siemens

(SMWAY)

was 2.60 euros lower to 132.10 and

Epcos

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was down only 0.19 euro to 115.91.

Likely of most interest to many European investors Monday was the debut of

Deutsche Telekom's

(DT) - Get Dynatrace, Inc. Report

Internet unit

T-Online

on Frankfurt's

Neuer Markt

. After DT set a very low initial price of 27 euros per share over the weekend for the Internet service provider, T-Online was able to eke out modest gains in early trade to 30.70 euros, despite all the commotion on the world's markets.

Although it appeared the telco had averted a total disaster with the T-Online IPO, Deutsche Telekom itself wasn't as fortunate in early trade, shedding 3.00 euros to 67.01. Other European telecom shares were also lower, but not any more than they might be on any other trading day.

France Telecom

(FTE)

was down 4.70 euros to 150.30 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Telefónica SA Report

was off 0.75 euro to 23.55.