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    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


    (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report

    revenue warning.


    Bank of England

    has confirmed a concerted intervention with the

    Federal Reserve


    European Central Bank


    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


    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


    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

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    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

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    was down 2.65 euros to 58.35 and


    fell 2.50 euro to 48.60.

    The weakness spread to other tech and telecom stocks.

    Parthus Technologies

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    took a pounding as it falls 22.5p to 268.5,

    Baltimore Technologies


    fell 39.5p to630.5, and

    Bookham Technology


    plunged 200p to



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

    British Telecom


    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


    Nemax 50

    index, which was 143 lower to 4780. The


    in Paris was down 75.11 to 6179.66 and the

    Xetra Dax

    in Frankfurt was off 40.05 to 6642.87.