LONDON -- The die was cast in the U.S.
European markets fell from the outset and looked unlikely to crawl out of the mire unless Wall Street dragged them out, kicking and screaming.
was down 22.5 points to 6328.3, and the
index plunged 175.7 points to 3718.1.
There was the occasional bright spot, with
head and shoulders above the rest as the company announced a comprehensive restructuring along the lines of what
have done. BT is set to create four high-growth businesses operating globally and is putting in place a more aggressive European expansion plan. BT's shares responded to the news with a gain of 30p to
moved below 300 before steadying to stand 10p lower at 302.5 despite Wednesday's news that the
has approved the takeover of
Oils also resisted the overall trend, with
adding 16p to 554 as brent one-month crude recovered to US$23.10 a barrel. This was in response to reports that
may cut production if the price falls below US$22 a barrel. Also, BP Amoco's acquisition of
has been given conditional approval by the
Federal Trade Commission
was 8p firmer at 503, with
rating the shares a buy.
Technology shares all over Europe suffered. In London,
fell 425p to
BATM Advanced Communications
was down 445p to
was 444p lower to
slid 144p to
30.90 before steadying to stand 59p lower at
On the Continent,
fell 2.30 euros to 51.70,
dropped 10.00 euros to 220.20,
dipped 8.00 euros to 160.00,
inched 1.05 euros lower to 140.50 and
fell 2.20 euros to 109.80.
managed to buck the trend as speculation continued about whether these two banks will be the next targets following the failure of the merger between
. Hypo was up 0.04 euro to 68.04 and Commerzbank was up 0.78 euro to 41.27.
was down 51.68 points to 7391.39, and in Paris, the
was down 9.07 points to 6229.63.