Intel's Bombshell

    European Early Update: One Word -- Intel

    Asian Markets Update: Intel Whacks Asian Tech Shares

    Wall Street Gets Soaked by Intel's Surprise

    Spread the Word: Tech Companies Plenty Exposed Over There

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    Intel's Warning Wreaking Havoc in After-Hours Action

    LONDON -- It was all happening in Europe this morning, as central banks around the world intervened in the foreign exchange market to prop up the flailing euro amid a fall in stocks on the back of

    Intel's

    (INTC) - Get Report

    revenue warning.

    The

    Bank of England

    has confirmed a concerted intervention with the

    Federal Reserve

    ,

    European Central Bank

    and

    Bank of Japan

    to prop up the ailing euro. A spokeswoman for the BoE said that this is the first time the BoE has intervened in the foreign exchange markets in many years. She said that she believed that the last time the central bank took part in such action was in September 1992 when it tried desperately to prevent sterling from falling out of the exchange rate mechanism.

    As a result of the intervention, the euro rose to a session high of 0.9040 against the dollar, although it has since slipped back to 0.8895.

    Many foreign exchange participants question whether central bank intervention actually works, often citing how unsuccessful the BoE was in 1992. But older hands will remember how successful concerted measures such as the

    Plaza accord

    and

    Gleneagles Agreement

    were in the 1980s. It remains to be seen whether today's action will alter the negative sentiment that has engulfed the euro since its launch in January 1999. The timing of today's move, coming before the weekend's

    Group of Seven

    meeting in Prague, will have caught many people out.

    The move in the foreign exchange markets has encouraged a bounce in equities, which were being hammered by Intel's announcement overnight that third-quarter revenue would be lower than expected.

    By midday the

    FTSE 100

    was down 51.40 points to 6147.80, up from its session low of 6075 -- but the real story was in the

    Techmark 100

    , which was down 104 points to 3593. There was a sense of unease, however, as fears grow that this is merely the calm before the storm. After a lively start, activity has certainly slowed. A leading broker says that he hasn't seen too much panic selling yet, but that much now depends on how Wall Street performs.

    Inevitably, it was the tech stocks, especially the chip makers and designers, that bore the brunt of the selling.

    ARM Holdings

    (ARMHY)

    was one of the biggest losers on the FTSE 100. The shares reached an initial low of 605p before recovering to stand 40p at 661. Market newcomer

    ARK International

    handed back some of the spectacular gains made on its debut Thursday. The shares more than doubled in its first day of trading to close at 428, but were lately down 30p to 397. On the Continent,

    ST Microelectronics

    (STM) - Get Report

    was down 2.65 euros to 58.35 and

    Philips

    fell 2.50 euro to 48.60.

    The weakness spread to other tech and telecom stocks.

    Parthus Technologies

    (PRTH) - Get Report

    took a pounding as it falls 22.5p to 268.5,

    Baltimore Technologies

    (BALT)

    fell 39.5p to630.5, and

    Bookham Technology

    (BKHM)

    plunged 200p to

    30.65.

    Vodafone

    (VOD) - Get Report

    reached an intraday trough of 227p before recovering slightly to stand 4.5p lower at 235, while

    British Telecom

    (BTY)

    fell a further 27.5p to 720.5.

    It was the same situation on the Continent, where the story wasn't in the major indices, but in the

    Neuer Markt's

    tech-heavy

    Nemax 50

    index, which was 143 lower to 4780. The

    CAC-40

    in Paris was down 75.11 to 6179.66 and the

    Xetra Dax

    in Frankfurt was off 40.05 to 6642.87.